Emmy Denton  


MICHIGAN WATERFALL by Emmy Denton

November 2020 - MICHIGAN WATERFALL

About the Image(s)

Nikon D3200
Lenses Nikon DX VR AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm
20mm
ISO 200
0.5 sec
Aperture f/11

You are going to see a few waterfall pictures from my trip to Michigan UP (upper peninsula for non Yoopers) last month. I like this image because of the way the fall colors frame the waterfall. I used an ND filter so I could slow the exposure down to smooth the water. I have Gobe ND8 and ND64 filters. For this shot I stacked my polarizer with the ND8. But I have found that I can’t predict exactly the filter combination I need to make the water pleasing. So it’s trial and error. I can’t imagine taking this shot with a film camera - I would probably use a whole roll of 36 (37 if I load it properly) shots with every possible combination to make sure I got the right shot. This is the second time I’ve used ND filters with waterfalls so I’m learning. I found it hard to focus through the viewfinder eyepiece with the ND filter on. I tried to prefocus and then put the filter on but that doesn’t work as I always manage to move the focus ring. The best way I found is to use the LCD screen and zoom in. I cropped this down from the full image.


This round’s discussion is now closed!
9 comments posted




Damon Williams   Damon Williams
Remy,
I think you succeeded in everything you were aiming for here. The water does have the right amount of motion blur (IMHO). The fall colors do frame the waterfall well. DoF works well in order to keep the framing foliage, as well as the waterfall. The soft lighting was on your side too. Good work.

With regard to composition, if I had my wishes, it would be to crop down from the top to better emphasize the subject (the falls), but that's just me. And, although the colors frame the falls well, they're bright to the extent that they might overpower the falls (subject) a bit. But you know, this is fixable! In fact, I just saw a presentation by Lisa Langell, in which she does a GREAT job talking about brightening things you want to bring attention to, and darkening things you want to divert attention away from. It's an amazing technique and really works. Anyway, just thoughts and it's a great shot regardless.

Interesting discussion re: operating the camera with ND filters. Frankly, I've never even heard of an N64 before (that's seven stops?). I've had similar issues when doing light painting or other night things. This reminds me of a rant of mine, which why don't all digital cameras have electronic ND filters? Some do, but most don't. Wouldn't that be nice?   Posted: 11/06/2020 00:05:48
Emmy Denton   Emmy Denton
hm - interesting and electronic ND filter? Lower ISO or maybe a layer of glass over the sensor. You know they make these electronic tinting you can put on your car so during the day you can turn it on and at night you can turn it off so you can see out of you side doors (but I digress).
The ND8 is 3 stops and the ND64 is 6 stops.   Posted: 11/30/2020 14:04:54
Damon Williams   Damon Williams
Yeah. I had a Canon G10 which had it, and my Fuji X100F had it too. Super convenient. I'm sure there could be an electronic system that would physically alter the amount of light hitting the sensor, probably by using a liquid crystal and polarized glass, in pretty much the same way a digital watch works. But, and although I'm not an electrical engineer, I'd bet that the electronic ND filter just alters the amount that the signal coming off the sensor is amplified when it's on it's way to storage (before the analog to digital converter?). I don't know about the ones and zeros of it all, but I do know that the system works peachy, and I just don't know why we don't all have one.   Posted: 11/30/2020 15:16:40



Richard Story   Richard Story
EMMY,
I AGREE WITH DAMON ON THE SHUTTER SPEED, THE F STOP CHOICE, I LOVE THE FALL COLORS, MYSELF I LOVE WORKING WITH LONG SHUTTER SPEEDS, AND YOU USED JUST THE RIGHT AMOUNT TO SMOOTH OUT THE WATER YET SHOW THE SPEED OF THE WATER.
I DID TAKE ON MYSELF TO DO A LITTLE CROPPING, I BELIVE IT HELPS BRING THE VIEWERS EYE TO THE WATERFALL, THATS THE MAIN SUBJECT.
I DID TONE DOWN THE WATERFALL AND THE LEAVES SOME, WHICH I THINK HELPS DRAW THE FOCUS TO THE FALLS.

AND THE ND64 IS 6 STOPS OF LIGHT AND THEN A 1000 IS 10 STOPS....I USE THE LEE FILTER SYSTEM WHERE I CAN STACK A FULL 10 OR 6 STOP AND SOMETIMES USE A GRAD TO TAKE DOWN SOME SPECIAL AREAS THAT ARE EXTRA BRIGHT. AFTER A WHILE THEY BECOME THE FIRST THING I PULLOUT ON ALL MY LANDSCAPES DAY AND NIGHT


  Posted: 11/06/2020 20:23:27
Comment Image
Emmy Denton   Emmy Denton
Hi Richard - thank you for cropping and working with my image. I think this is a great crop for instagram - I actually like both crops and was having a difficult time setting the crop level. In my original I did crop from the top and wanting to emphasize fall I kept most of the tree on the left. I just love those colors. I think I'll change the title of the photo to include fall colors. Maybe after I upgrade my camera I will also upgrade to a filter system (it gets old futzing with those threads :) )   Posted: 11/30/2020 14:11:11



Jane Pittenger   Jane Pittenger
I seem to be in the minority here! I love this as is. To me this photo is about Fall and not just the waterfall. I like the framing, the size of the framing, the crop, the brightness of the leaves and the perfect (to my eye) amount of motion blur. I totally get what you say about how hard it is to get the focus and then place the ND filter. Do you use back button focus? I use it and then adjust the filters. One thought I have re focus...looks as if the focus is on the waterfall. The foreground leaves are somewhat soft maybe because of focus, maybe because they were moving a bit. An option might be to further blur them with wider aperture...which of course would mean perhaps more ND filter!   Posted: 11/07/2020 14:02:29
Emmy Denton   Emmy Denton
Hi Jane - I actually like both crops for different uses and had a very hard time setting in the first place. The trees were moving and thank you for the idea I'll get a 10 stop filter when I have the same situation and try blurring both the water and leaves. Although I did get photos of with more wind/blur on the leaves and I like this one the best - focus blur is different than movement blur so I should probably give it a try or just take more photos than I did next time. I think I took about 10 photos when the wind was still trying to get one in focus - I should have probably shot 30.   Posted: 11/30/2020 14:18:22



Bernie Groome   Bernie Groome
This really makes me feel like fall. The blur of the waterfall works for me. I would not change anything.   Posted: 11/15/2020 15:52:06



Dianne Arrigoni   Dianne Arrigoni
I also love this image cropped as is. I love the soft water, vibrant tree foliage and the tall green pines/firs in the background that for me make the scene seem bigger and more open.   Posted: 11/20/2020 16:45:35