View Full Version : Water shots

05-02-2009, 08:34 PM
I hope I'm not boring anyone with these types of pics...I just like to capture the moment how I see it...


This was the top of a waterfall..


05-02-2009, 08:36 PM
more reflections...


05-02-2009, 09:17 PM
Great pics BuckSnort thats what this place is for. Some are good some are great,some are well you know some need to be deleted as a bunch of mine need to be. Its all in the eyes of the beholder !

P.S. Your next pic may be an award winning moment in history.

Captain Compassion
05-02-2009, 10:07 PM
Far from boring anybody Buck. Those pictures are what this board is all about. Beautiful. Thank you.


05-03-2009, 04:58 AM
Great pics! I like the way you can see the rocks in the bottom of one shot and the next is all lake reflection! It's interesting the way the mountain burned in the reflection shot.

05-03-2009, 03:47 PM
Bucksnort - You got some nice shots there and I enjoy seeing them although the last made me want to stand on my head.

Don't want to hijack your post, but it looks to me like a GREAT beginning for a ongoing theme of "Water" shots kind of like the "Man's Best Friend" thread. *I mean fisher folks ought to have lots of good stuff to share here. *Your first shot, my favorite in your group, (because of the dreamy moving water) reminds me of one I have that's similar. Whadda you think?

05-03-2009, 05:10 PM
Bucksnort - You got some nice shots there and I enjoy seeing them although the last made me want to stand on my head.

Don't want to hijack your post, but it looks to me like a GREAT beginning for a ongoing theme of "Water" shots kind of like the "Man's Best Friend" thread. I mean fisher folks ought to have lots of good stuff to share here. Your first shot, my favorite in your group, (because of the dreamy moving water) reminds me of one I have that's similar. Whadda you think?

Go for it...looking forward to seeing your pics...I have more as well

And thanks all for your comments I appreciate it...

05-03-2009, 05:14 PM
I'm posting this pic as a link..It's kinda big and I dont want make it any smaller than I already have...


05-03-2009, 05:35 PM

05-03-2009, 05:56 PM
Very impressive shots Buck Snort, good eye.
Thanks for sharing

Z :)

05-04-2009, 06:56 AM
Very cool !


05-07-2009, 06:06 PM
Shots I've seen of misty flowing water have always fascinated me so one afternoon a couple years ago I decided to find a spot to give it a try. *I knew to get the water to blur a slow shutter speed would be required. *That also meant if the camera moved everything else would blur. *To stabilize the camera I carried a tripod.

If you shot white water rapids in bright sunlight a high or fast shutter speed of maybe 1/500th of a second would be needed for proper exposure which also would "freeze" motion. *With a slow shutter speed a few seconds moving water will blur. *But, to get a slow shutter speed dim light is needed. *I went to a deep canyon late in the afternoon where no direct sun could hit. *Tall trees also served to block overhead skylight. *I put the camera in manual mode and first set the lens to it's smallest opening (f11) to cut as much light as possible from getting to the sensor. *I also adjusted the sensor sensitivity (ISO) to it's lowest setting of 100 on my camera.

With the camera on the tripod I carefully composed. *Usually late afternoon I'm rushing to beat fading light. *This time no rush as less was better! *Because I hadn't done this before except for a few offhand shots I did a series of exposures (called bracketing) changing the shutter speed for each. *To eliminate the risk of a blurring the whole shot by moving the camera when I pushed the shutter I used the self timer to delay the shutter opening for a couple seconds. *The self timer is usually used for a photo that the photog wants run around and get in. *My camera has a 10 second delay for that and a 2 second delay for what I was doing.

The shutter speed used is above each photo. *I first posted these on a photography forum where 800 pixel wide images are the norm. *Not sure how they'll work here unless I get some feedback. *If you have a problem please let me know. *This is also a test too to see how this larger size works in the forum. *The exposure time / shutter speed shows above each pic.

5 sec

4 sec

3.2 sec

1/25 sec

05-07-2009, 07:50 PM
Those are some nice pic's guys!

05-07-2009, 08:43 PM

Those are great shots...I need to get a few filters so when I find a cool subject to photograph I dont have to come back when the lighting is better....

05-08-2009, 12:45 PM
Thanks. Trying "something new" like this refreshes my interest in photography.

Yeah, neutral density filters would let you slow down the shutter. A polarizer would as well by 2 f-stops. Meaning a 1 second shutter speed could be changed to 4 seconds. That would make a lot of difference in the look of silky stream shot.

I might have used a polarizer for those shots ... my old man's mind doesn't remember! I do tho recall an idea I had that using TWO polarizers would really let me dim the light. Polarizers work like optical Venetian blinds. If you put two together and rotate there will be a point when it goes nearly black when you look thru 'em. I tried it out on some sunlit white water and did achieve slow shutter speeds ... BUT the filters introduced a strange strong blue color cast and no amount of photo edit I did could remove it. Oh well, so much for that idea!

Carrying a full sized tripod while rock hopping would be a pain. If you're a fly fisherman with a wading stick trading it for a monopod might help (with other support) to do the job of keeping the camera still. I tote a pocket sized tripod in my compact camera bag. It has a ball head and a set of legs that fold and nest in it's handgrip body. It can be set on a stump or rock and can also be held and pressed firmly against a tree trunk. Good for on the go shooting.

05-12-2009, 12:20 PM
Found one more shot I'm especially proud of because I took it with my little old Casio point & shoot. *This was before I bought the Panasonic fz50 and got serious about digital photography. *Until this revelation my Casio was used for quick snapshots and documenting stuff.

It was a Sunday drive to PiPi Valley north Hi88 off Omo Ranch Road at about 4000'. *Years ago it was an area I went to ride a Honda Trail 90 on dirt tracks and logging roads. *At the Middle Fork Cosumnes bridge pullover I planned to take a snapshot then be on my way, but as I stood there soaking up the scene and pine scented fresh air it dawned on me this was potential.


So what makes a good photo? *Short answer ... you like it. *Doesn't matter if it's blurry, too dark, or tilted off axis. *If it feels good and saves a memory it's a keeper.

What then makes a photo easy on the eye and pleasing to look at? *From a technical stand point most pics with a range of tones from black to pure white look best. *White or bright parts of a scene draw attention while black and dark tones give shape, anchor, and frame. *I like most all my pics to have a dense rich black. *On the bright side if important subject matter is too bright the details get washed out. *I like the brightest points, highlight's they're called, to accent my main subject, but not overpower. *Highlights reflecting from eyes, shiny iridescence of a trout, sparkling wake of a planing boat, chrome of a polished grill, the halo surrounding backlit fur of a pet. *Attract, but not distract. *Attractive bright areas should show subtle detail and not be over exposed and harsh.

The shot I took from the bridge was very nice but I wasn't finished. *I wanted a different angle. *One that would put the flowing water dominate in the foreground. *I found a path down under the bridge. *I recall a large flat bolder or rock outcrop that got me get close but kept my feet dry. *I really liked the large lush green leaves. *I noticed the pine trunks on the opposite side probably more from seeing a couple at a picnic table near them than picking them out as something of interest to include. *I liked this spot because through the viewfinder it put me in the middle of the stream. *I didn't linger analyzing looking for specific things that seem attractive that I now see when I look at the photo. *I was going mainly on my feeling of potential and that I liked the big leaves and the water coming toward me. *I did not carefully compose this photo in the viewfinder or LCD screen. *I started collecting pictures with the camera's 3x zoom set at it's widest angle. *I probably played back the first few on the LCD to see if the exposure looked right. *For me it's awkward to hold a camera out to compose on the LCD. *I'm used to using a eyelevel viewfinder so as basic and cheesy as the little Casio's viewfinder is I used it. *I took a shot centering the stream then panned a bit to take more shots to each side. *It costs nothing to put a bunch of shots on the camera's memory card. *If you encounter a scene with potential that's what I suggest you do.

We see in 3D and we "see" with more than our eyes. *I recall a trail ride on the Honda I took down a steep switchback canyon. *It was one of only a few rides I carried my heavy 35mm camera gear. *The trail started in thick forest, but a little way down a wide patch of shale created a open view. *We stopped breathless at the FANTASTIC scene out across the canyon. *I dug my gear out of the backpack. *WOW! *I shot a few with a wide angle, changed to a normal lens then to a short telephoto. *In my combined senses this was perfect. *I burned a lot of film. *Days later when the prints came back from the lab I tore into 'em anxious to revive the moment and share the spectacle with my family and friends. *I quickly thumbed through them. *Then again. *Where were they? *BOING! *Like the beat of a huge gong it hit me. *These WERE them. *But how? *All they were WERE trees and rocks. *Some close, some far, some in between. *Trees and rocks in shape and color but flat pasted down on photo paper. *No depth or sense of awe that I felt on the trail. *Nothing in the foreground to set a point of perspective. *No leading lines or overlapping planes to guide the eye through the scene. *Just flat trees and rocks.

I bought my 35mm Nikon stuff in '68 while in Vietnam. *When I came home I started a family and began to use it to capture kid memories. *It was the trees and rocks experience that showed me I needed to learn how to photograph a scene with depth. *I began by looking at pictures that made my eyes pause for a longer look. *I studied trying to figure out why. *I bought books on photography that went beyond mechanics of camera or chemical concoctions in the darkroom. *Kodak had a bunch of "How To" booklets I devoured. *I began to watch TV differently paying attention to camera angles and framing. *There are techniques and tricks you can learn to fool the eye and mind to communicate a realistic feeling of space. *

For some people a "good eye" for photography comes easy. *For most, including me, it comes with desire and practice. *Here's a link that offers short lessons for improving composition. *NOTE: I found I had to repeatedly return to this page to access all six of the topics found near the bottom. *Kind of a hassle to backtrack but it can be done.

http://photoinf.com/General/KODAK/guidelines_for_better_photographic_composition_int roduction.html

The image above came from seaming together (using Photoshop) two of the pics I'd collected. *About 80% is one shot of what's on the left. *The big green leaves on the right were added from a seprate shot. *If I'd had a wider angle lens on that camera it could have been done in one. *For shooting scenery a wide angle lens can often help create a dynamic perspective. *More on that later.

Here's the best of the shots I took from the bridge. *Which do you like best? *Why?

05-12-2009, 02:58 PM
I have to go through all my photos.....I think this is the only one with water in it....


Captain Compassion
05-12-2009, 04:05 PM
High Water on the West Carson. Hope Valley 09/11/09



05-12-2009, 04:10 PM
I agree it is all about composition at the moment of conception before pulling the trigger. Yak you do justice to the framing.....Jetspray

05-13-2009, 10:29 PM
Bucksnort those are some great photos. Keep them comeing and great thread.

Yak also great photos and the writeup you did is a huge helper for me. I haven't been able to really get any good moving water pics like that. I have been trying but seeing as I am a amature with a cheap camera and have no clue as to what I'm doing, I haven't been able to produce what I would like to. Tomorrow I am going to go out and try it again just as you explained. I'll let you know how it goes. And thanks for taking the time to write that out. That's a huge help to me.


here are a couple i tried doing a couple weeks ago. Now is a great time for these small creek shots whith all the snow run off..







05-14-2009, 01:39 PM
FFG - I like the way you got close up in the first shot to simplify the scene. That is if it's an "artsy" kinda shot you're going for. Our, the viewer's, focus is pulled directly to the action of the water flow. There is in this picture, in my eye, also elements of composition I struggle to put to words. I sort of perceive a subtle strength of balance in the pattern of the rocks. Though also in my mind's eye I want to trim a little off the left side to bring it more in tune.

I like the solid wet black rock at the bottom of the frame. It gives the shot a good solid visual base that adds to it's presentation. I often use the trick of shooting a sunlit scene from a spot with a shaded foreground to help create this visual effect.

99% of the time I go around with a camera and grab scenes as I find them. I'll decide at the moment how to position the camera whether tilted up or down or held higher or lower or shifted side to side. Small differences in camera position and angle can be dramatic in results. Did you try this little waterfall from a few different angles?

One of my 1% non-grab shots was similar to yours. It was a small waterfall cascading down over a few rocks. Pretty neat to use the cameras viewfinder to frame it out and isolate it from the overall spot. I was shooting a large 2 1/4" square film camera and I had it on a tripod. The value of a tripod is not just to steady, but it also slows you down to make framing the scene more thoughtful and precise. It helps you make a picture instead of just taking one. I took a few shots varying the exposure because with film you don't get to see results until it comes back from the lab.

Before moving on I noticed a large maple leaf that had fallen from a tree. It was a bright mottled yellow orange rusty color. I picked it up and placed it on a rock close to the foreground of my frame. I looked thru the viewfinder and liked it. What I did next will probably put me in disgrace of pure blood environmentalists ... I ripped off some willowy branches of a nearby shrub. I gathered this bundle of living leaf green stalks and jammed 'em into the rocks along the left side of the frame further back. There wasn't that many really, but they gave my scene another bit of needed color and visual interest. The leaf and branches didn't distract from the central interest of the waterfall, but added a little something for the eye to nibble on along the edges. It's one of my very few manufactured outdoor photos and it looks nice.

Your next two shots I think are looking down what's probably a steep cliff and make me catch my breath at the thought of standing there. I remember in my high school days scrambling shale and moss covered cliffs high above the N. Fork of the Middle Fork of the American off Deadwood Ridge. No camera then just (stupidity) and desire to get further upstream to the next fishable hole. It's really difficult to get photos that have elements that convey depth when shooting almost straight down. Both of yours give me enough sense about the scene to feel it and want to check my feet and balance before gazing down to what's below.

Sheeesh ... old geezer ... getting too long winded!

05-15-2009, 04:25 PM
Was searching my hard drives for an old video and came across some more shots taken long ago with the little Casio. *I've posted this one before in a smaller size. *This time it's larger and enhanced with a more practiced hand. *Had hoped to show a before/after of the changes made by editing, but the program I use for that crashed on me! *When the companies tech support get's it going again I'll add it.

I believe this is the West Fork Carson from a small bridge near Sorensens. *Shot 10/1/05


For photo students out there I ask you what is the light source of this and the last stream pic I posted? *What is it's effect on the scenes? *What time of day were these shot?

Gold STARs for the first correct answers! * [smiley=seestars.gif]

05-19-2009, 06:18 PM
Yak, thanks for all the great info. I went out today for a little experimenting. One thing is for sure...low light is a must. I used your info on the settings and it worked pretty good. I still have a lot to learn but it was fun and even caught a few fish. Most of the pictures I think I over exposed so it was a lesson learned. I think a new camera is in the works. This little easyshare camera is due for retirement. ;)

These were taken today on the N.Fork of the American and a small tributary stream in Michigan Bluff









05-20-2009, 01:30 PM
Great pics makes me want to get hiking shoes on and just go

05-20-2009, 05:21 PM
Took these today at Shirtail Creek






I had to crop some of these thanks to these two. I asked nicely if they would mind moveing for a second on my second trip back two hours apart but I guess they thought it would be a better pic with them in it ;D ;D



05-21-2009, 08:35 AM
Great freaking shots FFG 8-)


05-21-2009, 02:05 PM
FFG - Yuh beat me to the punch! *I see by your merged pictures post you've already found "Layers" for advanced editing. *Of the few you posted a couple days ago I liked this stream shot best. *I saw you had two similar so I did a side by side comparison using FastStone Viewer (freeware). *Looking close it seemed the left side had been treated for noise (grain) as overall focus was soft with some areas showing what I call a smear. *I did, in that one, like the softer misty look of the white water.

I used a second layer in Photoshop to copy the whole soft image to over the top of the sharp focused original. *Then making the soft layer active I used the eraser tool to remove almost everything but the misty water. *Once you get the hang of using layers it's almost easier done than said.

This is the results of the combo. *It's a subtle change, but I like it.

Shooting red dot sight assisted photos I get a LOT of what I call "bullseye" composition. *That is when the main subject is perfectly centered in frame. *I especially hate a bullseyed heads in the middle of a wide angle frame. *Anyway, I review ALL my shots in a "What can I do to make it better?" mode. *Cropping off un-needed stuff and re-framing for a more eye pleasing composition is usually the first step of my workflow. *Workflow is a pro photo techie term for post processing (PP) or editing. *Anyway what I do is look for a picture in a picture and use cropping tools to make the change.

If I'm shooting a scene with a water horizon first thing I do is check to see it's level. *It's a bit visually disturbing to have it tilted. *The cropping tool I use allows me to rotate the frame. I do that until the top or bottom frame edge parallels the water line. *To be more exact I'll sometimes drag the frame line close to what I'm aligning it to. *Then I adjust it's overall size so my next proportional shaped crop will fit inside. *4:3 is the old standard of width vs. height. *The new high def TV's and camera panorama mode ratio is 16:9. *Photoshop has a rectangular framing tool that lets me set proportion so as I drag and resize it stays the same shape. *For most of my shots 4:3 gives me too much top & bottom so I've sort of compromised at 9:6. *If I have something unusual I frame and crop to fit it and forget the "rules."

To my eye all the visual "goodies" in this shot fit in the white frame. *But, that's MHO.

Glad you stepped up to PSP X2. *Think you're really gonna like it, and I look forward to seeing more of your outdoor and from the editor indoor adventures. *By the way I like your shots of Shirttail. *Wonder what you could get from less intense indirect light of late evening sky?

05-21-2009, 05:52 PM
Thanks Z !!

"Wonder what you could get from less intense indirect light of late evening sky?" That is exactly what I was thinking at the time I was taking those shots. I am going to go out there tomorrow eve and try and get some better shots after the sun goes below the canyon. I'm very curious to see what a difference it will make.
That's really cool what you did with that photo using layers. And I like how you framed the one section of that picture. I cropped it and it changed the whole picture. I think it made it look 100% better after being cropped. It was all more of the same tone where as before the bright light in the top of the picture looked too bright.
Thanks again for all of the great info. I print out all of your helpful advice and save it to review. It has helped me a ton. I got your PM. Thanks for that I'm going to check that area out soon.


Captain Compassion
05-31-2009, 10:56 AM
Red Lake Creek


05-31-2009, 11:11 AM
CC - Saw from your report you didn't catch trout there, but looking at these I'd say it was still worth the walk! NICE!