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Guest chriscraft

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Guest chriscraft


i went for a walk with the dogs the other day and took the camara with me to do an excercise with running water,using shutter speed priority mode,it was avery cold grey day but thought i,d post some pictures ,with the shutter speeds,listed to show what effect can be achieved(it took a lot of pratice at first with some very overexposed,and some just a black screen!),thought it might be useful..here,s the firstpost-1-136713473963_thumb.jpgpost-1-136713474248_thumb.jpg.I had to retouch some of these becuse of a dirty sensor,the greys really showed up the muck!now cleaned i hope,

hope this has been usful to someone,i certainly found it a good excercise,as always prod them to show large.





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Hi Trevor

Two bits of information you - and others - may find usefull I hope.

1. The dirty sensor. A big problem on a SLR due to lens changes etc.

To check for dirt - On a gray sky day just take a picture of the sky with nothing else in the shot.

It will show up and "hairs" on the sensor / lens, will stick out like a sore thumb.

1. THe "smoky water" picture.

Over exposure is a problem due to the slow shutter speed / over expouser.

I see your last one was shoot with ISO of 400.

Try turning it down to ISO 100 - My Canon will go down to ISO 5 - .

The ISO number controls the light sensitivy - old film speed ASA - the faster or larger ISO means the sensor will allow you to take pictures in darker light conditions or faster shutter speeds.

As you need to slow down the shutter for "smokey water" the you need to make the sensor LESS sensitive to light because on the extended shutter opening times.

So go back to your water fall location and turn down the ISO and even wait till dusk may help.

I will post on here soon one of the wind generators with the blades blurred.

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I love these sorts of pics and enjoyed these very much Trevor. I hope you'll do more.

Ref Paul's point about dirty sensors, I noticed that a number of the pics of the wind turbines where we were trying to get some motion blur on the turbine blades showed noticeable sensor dirt in the shots of several contributors, myself included. I've got the trusty Canon EOS400D on my desk as I type and I know this and many other cameras have built in sensor cleaning routines but they're not 100% effective, though they usually shift the biggest stuff. The smaller stuff is often not visible at normal apertures. Like most people I tend to try to shoot between f5.6-f11 under normal circumstances. However with the turbines I was using apertures like f25-29 and it revealed a whole load of sensor dirt I was not aware of previously so it can catch you out. The good news is that Lightroom offers a spot removal tool which works quite well on non-complex backgrounds - though I would have my doubts about its usefulness against the water in weir.

On the subject of exposure, I assume all this was shot with a tripod? I don't know about the 450D (which I think you have) but the 400D will only go down to ISO100.

My only other comment (sorry don't like to be critical) (would be that the shot with the swan with open wings has the swan out of focus but the vegetation in the background in good focus. At first I thought it might be the slow shutter speed but I noticed you had the shutter speed down as 1/160 which should mean the swan is sharp. With the relatively shallow DoF at f5.6 and the background in good focus your AF obviously missed the swan somehow. Unfortunately the AF sensor indication which illuminates in the viewfinder is rather brief but it's definitely worth looking out for as it can help with situations like this where you're unlikely to be able to tell just by looking through the viewfinder.

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Hi Trevor

I love this sort of mucking about with camera, playing with setting to see what happens!

With water, I find it best to put the camera in Tv mode (shutter speed manual) so I can fiddle with shutter speeds to see what gives the best resut, but lets the camera sort out the aperture. Ususally in normal light conditions it will have to use a very small aperture thus giving a deep depth of field. Also, as Simon says, make sure your ISO rating is a low as possible to make the sensor chip less sensitive to light.

I took a couple at Horstead mill when I way fiddling with exactly this sort of image. The first is simply the water rushing though a bypass channel taken at 0.5sec, ISO 100, f/29.


This second one I was trying to capture the force of the water coming through the weir, and so I knew I wanted a slow shutter speed. The trade off was that I couldn't freeze the action of the canoeist, but I took the view the picture had far more impact like this with a bit of blurring of the subject, than if I had frozen the action completely. 1/8 sec, ISO 100, f/18


Of course, slow shutter speeds can also be used at night for some great effects. I like to play with "light painting" where you set a really long exposure at night, and then use a torch to "paint" light onto the subject where you want to, like this one of the arch at St Benets Abbey. 30 sec shutter @ f/14


And finally you can go really off the wall. This was at St Peters church behind the Waveny River Centre. I thought, fo some bizarre reason that escapes me now, that it would be good to photograph the graveyard at night. I set the camera on a tripod and Mrs B had the shutter control. I painted light onto the head stones in the foreground and then ran to be middle ground and tried to write "Death" in the air with the torch (not easy writing backwards). I must admit I'd had a couple of pints by this time though. It just illustrates what is possible if you mive from the Auto settings! Have fun experimenting. (72 sec shutter speed on this one)


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Guest chriscraft

Great shots mark,really liked the canoe one,

From the comments made from mine ,have learnt that the first mistake was setting the iso wrong,because the day was dark, i increased the iso to account for the gloom .the second when i took another kook at the file info,was i,d set the white ballance to "flash" instead of cloudy not difficult to do when your short sited!!!Anyway thanks for the advise and comments,will return to said spot and re shoot

cheers Trev.

ps the shot of the swan was done hand held at 200mm zoom snapped very quickly on continous shooting he started like thispost-1-136713474626_thumb.jpg did lots of flapping and calling in the middle and ended up like this],it nearly got labradored it wouldn,t go away(put nicely) :lol:


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Just catching up, as usual these days ....

Some nice stuff here guys. Good experiments Trevor. I'd always use a tripod for blurred water shots, because in most circumstances you really need at least a half second exposure to get (in my view) a good effect. Try that next time, and do similar experiments with different speeds. Obviously it partly depends on how fast the water is moving! The following shot is an exception - the water was flowing incredibly fast after a rainy week (so fast that I was nervous about jumping across to the rock that I shot from, in case I slipped and fell into the torrent), and this was a 1/6 sec. exposure. If the river was going at a more normal speed that shutter speed would have produced a fairly bland effect. (As you may guess, this wasn't in Norfolk ...)


This next one was a gently flowing stream, and the shutter speed was 1.6 seconds:


Mark, your inventiveness never ceases to amaze me! Really good work. I couldn't write "death " backwards with a torch under any circs, let alone after a couple of pints. Mind you, I can't see myself trying any time soon ...


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Guest chriscraft

hi, guys

went back to the wier today ,to try the smoky water experiment again,day was brighter than before which made getting overexposure in control harder but this is my favourite of todaypost-1-136713475008_thumb.jpg

While i was out doing slow exposures i thought i,d have a go with fast exposures,the problem now was not enough light,to do this needed some action...enter Braken....he,s a bit of an athlete....!Take Off!!! Touchdown!Landing!

Not forgetting Connie she a bit older but can still move.Braken is the black one

action shot taken at f4,0.006s(1/160),had fun doing this though hard work juggling stick and camara.

ps i now have decent tri pod ,it,s made so much difference well pleased with it





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  • 6 years later...

I not sure if anyone will reply to this but would anyone be able to tell me where this wier is as I would like to visit

Jamstar, Hello and welcome aboard  the friendly forum.  :wave 


You might try PM'ing MBird if he doesn't respond to your query, he's not been online here for a couple of days.

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Just seen these photos and posts from way back – look lovely!


An easy to reduce the amount of light entering the lens and thus get a uniformly exposed photo but capture that beautiful blurring of movement such as water in the photos or perhaps at a beach with the waves coming in is to use a Neutral density filter (ND filter).


Doing so allows the photographer to select combinations of aperture, exposure time and sensor sensitivity which would otherwise produce overexposed pictures. On a very bright day, there might be so much light that even at minimum ISO speed and a minimum aperture, a 10 second shutter speed would let in too much light and the photo would be overexposed. In this situation using an appropriate neutral density filter is the same as stopping down one or more additional stops, allowing for the slower shutter speed and the desired motion-blur effect.


At a pinch, if your sunglasses are pretty dark you can put them over the lens and give that a go too - its all about experimentation :)

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