Lessons in Shooting Water, or Why TLC Was Wrong About Everything …

Today was moderately productive as far as picture taking goes. I failed to heed the warnings of the mid 90s pop icons and in fact, chased some waterfalls. Granted, these waterfalls weren’t very large, or symbolic of poor life choices, or whatever it was they were getting at. To be fair, at that time I was too busy listening to punk rock and learning to skateboard to be concerned with any sort of life lesson that may benefit me in the future.

Nonetheless, as I mentioned, today I got a chance to do something I’d been working on for a while, which was to pull water into that nice, soft, silky texture without having to buy a hundred dollar ND filter. I’ve always been aware of the process, but lighting conditions have usually prevented me from getting what I wanted as no matter how low I forced the F stop, the light was always such that anything slower than a “one second” shutter speed would white wash the entire thing into oblivion. Well not today folks! Today once I had finished goofing off with the kiddo at the park, the clouds had rolled in and just darkened up the sky enough I could pull 3.5-4 seconds. And because of that I was able to accomplish this:


Of course, it required getting put into one of my sweet personalized Lightroom presets to get the overall feel I wanted (that slightly warmer, yet still cloudy day feel). But overall, very little processing was necessary and the image wasn’t a sheet of printer paper to start with. So in my best Borat impression I must say … Great Success! Very Nice!

I nabbed one other shot that was salvageable. This one of course, simply uses one of my other standard Landscape presets and isn’t as warm. The focus for this is much more on the cloudy day:


As for yesterday, if you follow me on any of the various sosh-meeds I mentioned I would be rolling back out to the causeway again. This time of course was more or less just to let my buddy Ben Sant over at BTS Photography get a feel for the sweet landscapes available and hammer out some ideas for a more dystopian styled shoot using the rusted out tugboats from my last post here.

I did manage one shot of the tracks which came out better than the ones I shot last week, and I think I prefer the black and white on it more as well, given how harsh the sun was:


I was a little bummed as I had planned on giving him a quick run-down on landscapes but the wind was blowing pretty hard across the lake and the cloud cover wasn’t terribly interesting. So that was a bit of a whiff. Of course, the day wasn’t lost as brainstorming was done, and things were learned (at least on my part anyways) as I was able to get a pretty strong primer on lighting. I am actually pretty excited to get out and do a legit model shoot with some of the ideas I have. But that unfortunately for you the reader, will have to wait for another day. As always, Thanks for reading!


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