Ex­plore the won­ders of au­tumn wa­ter­falls

Practical Photography (UK) - - Autumn Surprises -

WAN­DER­ING through some of the UK’s most beau­ti­ful coun­try­side is only made bet­ter with the ar­rival of au­tumn. We’d en­cour­age you to ex­plore our amaz­ing na­tional parks in any sea­son, but this is a par­tic­u­larly spe­cial time of year.

Invest in ND fil­ters

A wa­ter­fall is a nat­u­rally mag­nif­i­cent sight, but if you want to give it an ex­tra boost, em­ploy an ND fil­ter. Neu­tral den­sity fil­ters are es­sen­tially dark­ened pieces of glass that slow down your shut­ter speed when you’re in bright sit­u­a­tions. This means that you can trans­form the fast rush of the wa­ter into a smooth milky blur. If you want to use an ND fil­ter, you must en­sure that you’ve also got a tri­pod to sta­bilise your cam­era. Keep in mind that the longer your shut­ter speed is, the milkier your wa­ter will be­come, so it’s up to you to de­cide whether you want to re­tain some of the wa­ter’s form or not. We’ve found that us­ing long ex­po­sures of over 10sec can pro­duce great re­sults when cap­tur­ing wa­ter­falls, but try ex­per­i­ment­ing your­self. We rec­om­mend you invest in both a 6-stop and a 10-stop ND fil­ter, as you’ll be able to switch be­tween the two de­pend­ing on how bright your en­vi­ron­ment is. To give you an idea of how these two fil­ters would af­fect your shut­ter speed, if you had a base ex­po­sure of 1/60sec, a 6-stop fil­ter would slow that down to a 1sec ex­po­sure, while a 10-stop would give you a 15sec shut­ter speed.

Set up your cam­era

When shoot­ing land­scapes, you’ll usu­ally want to use a nar­row aper­ture, as this will mean that the ma­jor­ity of your scene is sharply in fo­cus. You’ll also want a low ISO to achieve great im­age qual­ity. If you were work­ing hand­held, this could prove to be a prob­lem, as these set­tings would typ­i­cally re­quire a shut­ter speed be­low 1/125sec (un­less you’re shoot­ing in very bright con­di­tions). How­ever, as we’re aim­ing to slow down our shut­ter speed any­way, a nar­row aper­ture and low ISO will ac­tu­ally be ben­e­fi­cial for your shoot. As well as us­ing a tri­pod, it’s also a good idea to use your cam­era’s self-timer mode, as this will pre­vent cam­era shake when you press the shut­ter but­ton.


Above Screw-on ND fil­ters are easy to carry around and use when­ever you find a scene that needs them.

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