Latest Post :
Recent Post

Blurring Waterfalls and Beaches with Long Exposure

Blurring Waterfalls with Long Exposure
Blurring Waterfalls with Long Exposure - Photo: Samson P Samuel

Flowing water when photographed with long exposure times create a soothingly smooth effect. Blurring water is a relatively easy trick if you have your settings right. 

Things to Remember

Blurring Beaches with Long Exposure
Blurring Beaches with Long Exposure
  • Water looks best when shot at shutter speeds ranging from 1” to 10” seconds.
  • To keep your camera steady you will need a solid tripod.
  • A remote trigger / cable release could be a nice thing to have, but not mandatory as you can easily use your camera’s self-timer instead.
  • If your camera has a mirror lock up mode then use it to eliminate any vibrations caused by the camera mirror. Shooting in live view is a quick fix for this.
  • A polarizing filter could be of great help to eliminate / reduce reflections and to get more saturated colours. It could also function as a two stop ND filter in case you have trouble increasing shutter speed.
  • If you compose with a little bit of sky in the frame then you will most definitely need a Graduated Neutral Density Filter to prevent the sky from clipping.

Work Flow – Step by Step Guide

Blurring Waterfalls and Beaches With Long Exposure
Blurring Waterfalls and Beaches With Long Exposure
  1. Look/walk around the scene with your camera in hand and check it from every angle to select the best. The live view in your camera is very helpful to check compositions.
  2. Once you have decided the composition and the camera position, carefully set up your camera on a tripod, attach cable release if you plan on using it.
  3. Attach the polarizer to your lens and adjust it till you get a pleasing combination of little or no reflection and rich colours.
  4. Make sure you have your ISO set to the lowest value. ISO 100 in case of most cameras.
  5. Now its time for you to take the picture, use any of your preferred modes, set it so that you have one full second as your shutter speed, and depending upon the effect make corrections by either increasing or decreasing the shutter speed. If you increase the shutter speed the water will get more blurred and vice versa.
  6. Carefully review your pictures in the LCD panel on the back of your camera.
  7. Take pictures with varying speeds, often times the picture you liked best while reviewing on your little camera screen might not be the one you like best when viewing later on a larger computer screen.

Related Reading

Insomnia – Trick Photography

Insomnia – Trick Photography
Insomnia – Trick Photography

How to get this kind of shot.

Insomnia is a Photoshop work where you first take a picture of your subject’s face, and then another one with the subject covering his/her face with hands. Later you include both the pictures as layers in a single document in Photoshop. Picture with just the face as bottom layer, and the one with hands on top. You then change the top layers blending mode to overlay (try other blending modes too, sometimes they give better results), experiment a bit with opacity settings, try changing to black and white, adding some texture etc.

How I Did It

The pictures were shot with a Canon 5D MKII and Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro. Set to f/2.8. ISO 800, speed 1/25.

Use a Solid Tripod

Place your camera on a tripod; it helps when aligning layers if you have not shifted much between exposures.

Use a Portrait Lens

Use a portrait lens (focal length from 85mm – 135mm). It is not mandatory but it will surely make your subject look good by not distorting perspectives. 

Shoot Manual

 I recommend you shoot in manual mode so that your exposure does not change between shots. 
It is better if you could ask your subject to sit somewhere, and not shift too much between shots, ask to sit straight, take a picture, ask to place hands on the face gently, it is important that the hands are centered else it will look odd in the results. Now take the second picture and you are done with the shooting part. Just to be sure repeat the process once or twice more, some pictures just won’t align.

None of the above mentioned things, tripod, portrait lens, using manual mode etc are mandatory, you could easily get the shots shooting handheld in aperture priority mode, but taking the extra effort to set up and perfectly frame the shot, making sure that you use the right equipment for the job and that your subject stays still, exposures are consistent etc helps get better results. The pictures used in this article were shot in a garden restaurant; only light available was coming from a couple of candles and serial lights used for decoration. In spite of raising the ISO to 800 I was only getting speeds of 1/25. Having a tripod helped get sharp pictures without raising ISO any further. 

Here’s our first shot

Insomnia – Trick Photography
Insomnia – Trick Photography

And the second one with hands covering her face

Insomnia – Trick Photography
Insomnia – Trick Photography

Open a document in Photoshop, add both images as different layers on to the document, the picuture with hands covering her face should be the top layer. 

Click edit > auto align layers to align both layers perfectly.

Insomnia – Trick Photography
Insomnia – Trick Photography

Now that you have both images as layers, change the blending mode of the top layer to overlay, do try other blending modes too, sometimes they give better results depending on the base pictures.

So this is how our picture now looks once I changed the blending mode to overlay and adjusted the opacity a bit.

Insomnia – Trick Photography
Insomnia – Trick Photography

Click Layer > Flatten Image to merge the layers into one.

 Now we will see how the image looks in black and white.

In Photoshop, either press Alt+Shift+Ctrl+B or click image > adjustments > black and white. 

Insomnia – Trick Photography
Insomnia – Trick Photography

Try adjusting the sliders or contrast settings to get the right balance between black and white areas in your picture. Now all I did was to use the eraser tool to clean up a bit and the result is the image on top of this page. You could also try to add some texture or using any other filters on the image for different effects.

Related Reading


It is the Content Area

Support : Creating Website | Johny Template | Mas Template
Copyright © 2011. Technology Share - All Rights Reserved
Template Created by Creating Website Published by Mas Template
Proudly powered by Blogger