It seems like every photographer has a smooth waterfall picture in their portfolio. Andy has a few on his walls. Until now I didn’t really care, but then as we walked through Whatcom Falls Park yesterday on our group photo walk, I decided I wanted my own.
David‘s advice, after lending me the Canon 40d I’m currently using, was leave the setting on auto then aim, focus, and look at what the shutter speed, aperture, ISO are. That will help teach you what to use when you want to go manual. That ended up being good advice, and I haven’t been in auto for quite some time.
With this water fall, I manually set the shutter speed, but kept an eye on the auto settings for everything else. Eventually, I figured it out, and this is what I ended up with. The shutter was set at 0.6 seconds, the F-stop at 22, and ISO at 160. The problem I noticed immediately with leaving the shutter open longer is that more light gets in, washing out the photo. Lowering the ISO and increasing the F-stop look care of that. Did I do this correctly? I’m an amateur, so without taking a class I don’t really know. But, the pictures looks like what I had envisioned.
One last thing (and I hate ever admitting that Andy is right), you MUST use some type of tripod when leaving the shutter open for a longer period of time. There’s just know way you can be steady enough, and the parts of the photo you want crisp will be blurry.