Went down to Mt Field National Park in Tasmania in May last year thinking it would not be a waste of money and effort cause I thought I knew what I was doing...I came back with this
What had I done: I exposed for the whole area and got a nice shiny rock bed, well lit up foreground and a totally blown out white waterfall... damn.
So, lesson learnt at Horseshoe Falls, I made sure I exposed for the waterfall when it came to Russell Falls and came up with this
Better (but still not quite right) for the waterfall but the detail in the surrounding fiolage is lost.. dark and shadowy and gloomy. doh.
So I ask around and people tell me do two exposures, one exposing for the waterfall and another exposing for the surrounding greenery and shadows etc and blend them together using Photomatix, for example.
What I end up with is a compromise result, the waterfall somewhere between correct and half correctly exposed and a background fiolage area I could improve with shadows adjustments etc but the waterfall would still remain only half right... double damn.
So, back to the drawing board. Okay I tell myself, I am going to expose only for the highlighted area (ie the waterfall) and how to recover the shadowy areas in Photoshop and shoot in because I am told you can recover shadows/dark areas but not blown out over exposed areas.
Still with me ? Okay, so now I am thinking what IF I want to shoot the waterfall in a frozen slow state....okay I tell myself, grab an ND filter that slows down the by 3 (an ND8) and whack that on and hope there is not too much wind around because the surrounding fiolage is going to move and blur the shot.
But now I have an even darker foreground area that I doubt Photoshop can provide 3 of recovery for.. am I right ? Triple damn.
So, I hear someone say, don't use a bloody ND8 3s stopper, use an ND4 2 stopper or ND2 1 stopper AND remember you probably don't have to go past x to get a frozen waterfall effect anyway. That is, you may be asking for a longer than necessary and risking movement blur for no good reason.....
Hmmm.. how am I doing ?
The reason I am asking is that I am about to go visiting a new area with waterfalls I have not been to before and travelling a fair way to get there and I do not want to waste this trip like I did in Tassie last year.
My plan is to invest in an ND2 and ND4 Neutral Density Filter, try them at X waterfall exposing for the waterfall in the shot, do some 'testing' to see how fast a I can get away with to get a frozen effect and bump up the to 200 or 400 and drop the apeture down to F11 or F8 to help things along. I typically shoot waterfalls with my 10-22mm at the wide end most of the time because I love the greenery.
ALL COMMENTS AND SUGGSTIONS TO TRY IN CAMERA OR ON THE PUTER VERY WELCOME.