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Thread: Blurred water effect

  1. #1
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    Default Blurred water effect

    I was expecting a delivery of ND filters this morning and I was also expecting to go fishing. Neither happened. So instead I decided to try the flowing water effect without using long exposures and instead use photoshop. The image was composed of only 8 seperate images as wind, cloud, dogs and my lack of real knowledge all played their part. Ideally I would have liked 30+ images to make the composition. Anyway here you go...
    Blurred water effect-waterfall1-jpg

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Blurred water effect

    As a short term fix, use a small aperture low Iso with negative exposure compensation and a longer shutter time. Not sure how far you can push that effect but it may help.

    nice location though and definitely worth revisiting.

    - - - Updated - - -

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Blurred water effect

    Thanks colin. I'm still very new to this and info is king so thank you. I did try slowing the shutter and just ended up with branches all blurry so I decided on speeding things up but taking plenty of shots. I guess I could do with a day out with someone to show me as opposed to reading it alone. It's like casting, an hour with someone knowledgeable can save days of thrashing about. Still, I am really enjoying my return to photography and it's modern day simplicity. The ND filters should be here soon and that opens up another can of WTF are these worms...

    JJ
    A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Blurred water effect

    Absolutely if it is windy it’s that balancing act of blurring the water without blurring everything. Either photoshop to blend a fast aperture capture to freeze the trees with a slow capture on the water but the more images you blend, it may just get messy. Maybe return on a still day

  5. #5

    Default Re: Blurred water effect

    Aye, it's really a case of, if the trees and the water are both moving, and you want to blur one, you are going to blur the other as well, by whatever method you use.

    The one comment I would make about that shot is that the whites are totally blown-out.

    I've never tried focus stacking to blur water while keeping everything else steady. It's essentially a case of using minimum ISO and minimum aperture to lengthen the shutter time to give you the longest exposure that gives you the correct exposure. With fast moving water, this might be enough to give you the effect you want. Dialling in negative exposure compensation will only make things worse, as it will underexpose, by giving a shorter exposure - which itself will give less motion blur. If you have ND filters coming, they are the way to go. If you don't have ND filters, a polarising filter lengthens exposure time by 2 stops, and that might be all you need.

    A lot of the shots I posted in this thread have blurred water effects, and in none of them did I use any ND filters or any stacking (or any other effects); just minimum ISO and minimum aperture, to lengthen the shutter time...

    What genius is in charge of cramond fall?

    The dingey setting of the weir, in a deep valley, with blummin' awful Scottish winter light levels helped tremendously with long exposure times...

    For example...

    f22, ISO 50, 0.8 seconds...


    That was taken without a tripod, but with an image-stabilised lens, on a monopod, braced against the railings.

    In this shot, the camera was hand-held, no tripod or monopod, and no filters, but again, with 4 stops of image stabilisation...

    f16, ISO 100, 1/3 second...


    These with a 3-stop ND filter and on a tripod...

    f11, ISO 50, 1.5 seconds


    f18, ISO 50, 1.3 seconds


    This whole area is maybe the one time that living with Scottish light levels pays dividends...

    Finally, for comparison - no blur this time...

    With a 10-stop ND filter, f18, ISO 100, 1/8000 seconds!


    Solar Eclipse

    That thing up there is bright!!!

    Col
    Please note that any views expressed in this post may be those of the
    originator and do not necessarily reflect those of the reader.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Blurred water effect

    One thing no one mentioned is too long an exposure will just look like the river is milk due to completely overlapping bubble patterns. River waves and creases cycle and repeat in the same spot. Moving waves for example in the sea turn to a low level mist.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Blurred water effect

    Thank you for the in depth replies Colin and Cap'n. I shall head out later today and have another try using the setting suggested and see how I get on. One thing I cannot do however is set the camera to ISO 50 as the camera only goes as far as ISO 100. Fingers crossed the ND filters and the polariser arrive today, I have orderd 2 sets, one for each lens I have so fingers crossed I will work them out and post the results later. Once again thank you for your very helpful input chaps it really does help me get my head around this fascinating hobby and make it a pleasure and not a chore.

    JJ

  8. #8

    Default Re: Blurred water effect

    Quote Originally Posted by colinc1978 View Post
    One thing no one mentioned is too long an exposure will just look like the river is milk due to completely overlapping bubble patterns. River waves and creases cycle and repeat in the same spot. Moving waves for example in the sea turn to a low level mist.
    Yeh - each situation will have its own range of lengths of time that give a pleasing effect, beyond which it looks less pleasing. I like a blurred waterfall or river, but I've never liked the "smoke on the water" look you get from a shot of the sea with about a 30 second exposure that just makes everything a milky fog.

    A lot of it is down to personal taste.

    1/8 sec...


    1/6 sec...


    1/3 sec...


    0.6 sec...


    10 sec...


    13 sec...


    A good one to try and get the right look for is helicopter rotor blades. If you make the shutter speed too fast, it freezes the blades and the chopper looks like it is suspended in mid-air - like a toy one hanging from a cord. Anything much above 1/200 sec will freeze the blades. But if you come down below 1/100 you get into the zone.

    1/90 sec...


    1/30 sec...


    Around 1/90 sec is also a good speed to get a bit of motion blur in the rod and line in a casting sequence...

    1/80 sec...


    1/50 sec...


    Col
    Please note that any views expressed in this post may be those of the
    originator and do not necessarily reflect those of the reader.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Blurred water effect

    Picture speaks a thousand words

    Another tip I was given was for things like flying birds go 1/400 or faster. You donít want blurred wings for those. As you say for water you can take 5 or more and see the effects directly but wildlife may have left before the second photo.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Blurred water effect

    Quote Originally Posted by colinc1978 View Post
    Another tip I was given was for things like flying birds go 1/400 or faster. You don’t want blurred wings for those...
    We had a discussion on this a while back on the general nature gallery thread. I quite like bird shots with a bit of blur on the wingtips. Again, it makes the difference between portraying something with life and movement and something that could be stuffed and hanging from a cord. So long as the blur is in the wings, while the beak and eyes are sharp! A lot of the time it is a case of trading-off shutter speed with ISO. The higher you push the shutter speed, the higher the ISO comes with it. I would say 1/400 will still give wing blur in some shots. Needs something like 1/1000 or even 1/2000 sec if you want total freeze of a bird with fast wingbeats. So much dpends on the bird in question - things like fulmars glide with wings stiff as a Boeing!

    Here's some examples with wing blur...

    1/350 sec, ISO 250...


    1/500 sec, ISO 125...


    1/500 sec, ISO 100...


    1/800 sec, ISO 320...


    1/800 sec, ISO 200...


    1/350 sec, ISO 320...


    1/250 sec, ISO 500...


    Col
    Please note that any views expressed in this post may be those of the
    originator and do not necessarily reflect those of the reader.

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