Could we find and pho­to­graph a water­fall in cen­tral Chel­tenham?


NPhoto - - Contributors -

Our se­cond chal­lenge re­quired some quick road­side re­search us­ing our mo­bile phones. The Cotswolds isn’t renowned for its epic white wa­ter scenes or water­falls, but a quick Google Im­ages search re­vealed a small ’fall in Chel­tenham’s Pittville Park that ap­peared to of­fer some po­ten­tial.

The water­fall was per­fectly placed un­der a canopy of trees. This both re­duced the amount of light avail­able and en­abled us to use slower shut­ter speeds to blur the pint-sized rapids.

Even then, we only got shut­ter speeds in the re­gion of 1/60 sec at f/22, which left the cur­tain of wa­ter look­ing too sharp. Fit­ting strong 10-stop Neu­tral Den­sity fil­ters to the front of our lenses re­duced the amount of light en­ter­ing the cam­era and

Fit­ting 10-stop Neu­tral Den­sity fil­ters en­abled us to use shut­ter speeds closer to 10 sec­onds, for a much smoother re­sult

en­abled us to use shut­ter speeds closer to 10 sec­onds, for a much smoother re­sult.

We took a stream of test shots to make sure we weren’t blow­ing the de­tail in the white wa­ter and set the cam­era to shoot RAW so that we could tweak the high­lights, shad­ows and colour bal­ance later.

To keep the rest of the scene tack-sharp, we tripped the shut­ters with our tripod­mounted cam­eras’ self-timers. For­tu­nately, we also re­mem­bered to shield the eye­pieces to pre­vent stray light en­ter­ing through them dur­ing the long ex­po­sures and ruining the shot – which is eas­ily over­looked when you’re caught up in the process of clean­ing fil­ters, check­ing depth of field and tim­ing shots. The Nikon D-SLRs we used have con­ve­nient built-in eye­piece blinds, but shield­ing the viewfinder with your hand or a lens clean­ing cloth is just as ef­fec­tive.

EX­PO­SURE 20 secs, f/22, ISO100 LENS Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8

It al­ways pays to dou­ble-check the locks on the tri­pod legs and head to make sure that the only part of the scene that’s blurred is the one that you want to look soft Keep­ing it sharp

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