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And if you can’t get your hands on a real waterfall…

January 2, 2013, 7:19 PM

Yes, the old method still holds true.  If you can’t get your hands on the real thing, build your own.  I went to Great Falls with Mom last week (photos to come – don’t worry), and I was a bit disappointed in how the photos came out.  I knew I wasn’t going to get fabulous photos (I usually don’t when I’m with people that aren’t also photographing), but I was still less than impressed with them.  They won’t be the next Schumin Web Photography set, that’s for sure.  I guess that if I were to put it nicely, I would say that they looked a bit amateurish.  But you can judge that for yourself when I post them later.

Acknowledging my lack of great photos from Great Falls, though, I practiced a little bit in the kitchen this evening.  Thus I present to you my “waterfall”:

My "waterfall"

And this is what it looked like with the water on:

The "waterfall" in action

I did a little research on how to take water photos in daylight to make the water look like a mist (vs. “frozen”), and this was my testing what I learned.  This is research I should have done a long time ago, considering I’ve been using a “prosumer” model camera for more than a decade now, but at least now I know.  There’s only so much you can do just tinkering around with the camera, you see.  There comes a point where you have to (gasp!) read some instructions.  So I went into the area of the camera where I previously feared going: fully manual.  I set the ISO to 80.  I set the aperture to 8.0.  And I set the exposure at two seconds.  And then I set the camera on the counter, since I was too lazy to take the tripod for a little practice session.

And here is the result:

Results of my "waterfall" photography.  I think I've got it.  I believe that this is the result I was going for.

It even looks good with a little trickle of water going.  Yes.  I have a waterfall.  And it looks all flowy like it's supposed to.

Score.  Now I think I know enough to go out to a water feature and get some good looking shots.  Or at least make them not look so amateurish.  That, by the way, is why the Elvis sarcophagus is the Photo Feature right now.  Because I was unimpressed by Great Falls.

So now the question is, where is a good place to get some moving-water photos in the winter in or around Washington?  Would prefer a waterfall or something at a place where I don’t have to pay admission.  The parks and things have the water turned off right now.  Otherwise I’d play around with the camera in Dupont Circle on my lunch hour at work.  So leave a comment below…

Postscript: And if you think I was wasting a lot of water, I actually didn't use that much (but I do acknowledge that this was wasting a tiny bit of water). I used the self timer and only started it with half a second to go, and then immediately shut it off at the end of the exposure. I bet you waste more water waiting for the shower to warm up in the morning, though. Plus these were dirty dishes from this morning, so it's not like I'm messing up any fresh dishes, either.

Categories: Photography