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Thread: Shutter priorty mode

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    Shutter priorty mode

    Hi all i am on holiday at the moment and am after a bit of advice. I used shutter priorty mode today, for one of the first times, to photograph a waterfall. I used a slower shutter speed to give the water a blurred affect but the images are to bright. If i remain in shutter priorty mode what should i do to let less light in. I am thinking exposure compensation but when i tried this i could not seem to get it right. I cannot post the images untill get back.

    Cheers Ruski

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Ruski, both shutter priority and aperture priority modes are semi automatic settings and both will make the camera expose the scene correctly ( when possible ) which is a good thing.
    However, what you are trying to do is to make the scene expose incorrectly based on what you want to see.
    In order to do that with a waterfall, you need a combination of an aperture that will give you the depth of field that you desire, a shutter speed that allows water movement to blur and most importantly a level of light low enough to not overexpose any parts of the scene.
    Ideally you need to be at the water fall at a time of day when the light is reasonably soft and not streaming in harshly from above. Then you need to be able to have the exposure correct for the shutter speed that you want to use to blur the water, that will be achieved by closing or opening the aperture to balance the cameras light meter to a correct exposure. That is best achieved in manual mode.
    More than likely you will run into the problem of having too much light in the scene to allow you to get the shutter speed down to a slow enough speed to blur the water. You then have to exclude some light from the scene and that is generally done with neutral density filters, they are ( to put it very simply) just filters that cut the amount of brightness of the light entering the lens. They come in varying strengths ( stops of light ) and may be used in multiple stacks of filters and sometimes with polariser filters to reduce reflections and glare.

    Those filters and a good vibration free tripod are pretty much a necessity when doing the style of shot that you want.
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Andrew has great advice. Shooting waterfalls other than early in the day, or into the evening is best done under dark cloudy sky. If you have a polarising filter, put that on your lens, anything to darken the scene. Try shooting again in manual mode.

    * Set aperture to f22, or smaller if your lens allows, remember that the bigger the f number, the smaller the actual aperture is, thus less light getting through to the sensor
    * Make sure you use the lowest ISO your camera offers. Definitely not Auto ISO, as this will automatically adjust against the result you are trying to get.
    * Set yourself up on a tripod or other very stable surface
    * Set shutter speed to say 1/5th of a second

    Take a shot. Is the result to dark? Then try a shutter speed of 1/2 second. Is the shot to bright? then try a shutter speed of 1/20th of a second. Play with the shutter speed till you are getting good results on the LCD. If you know how to read/use a histogram, turn that on and use it to check your exposures.

    Experiment, you will get the hang of it, and enjoy your time at the waterfall, they can be peaceful, relaxing places, so work at getting the shots, but also have fun doing so and appreciate the environment at the same time. And as an aside, you have just learnt how to shoot on full manual..easy, eh?
    Last edited by ricktas; 17-07-2011 at 7:54am.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Thanks for the great advice Andrew And Rick it is much appreciated. Shooting manual well....gotta start sometime !! If i get a decent shot i will post it on my return.

    Thanks again

    Ruski

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