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Discussion Board -> Photography -> taking water pictures blurred?

taking water pictures blurred?

Mindstormer
02/26/05 4:39 PM GMT
Hi

I have a Nikon D70 how would i go about taking a picture of moving water and making that cool smooth blur affect? I have heard you have to keep the shutter open but that lets too much light in and the picture comes out white as can be.

thanks

Mindstormer
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*caedes
02/26/05 8:34 PM GMT
One technique (I'm not sure if there are others) is to use what's called a neutral density filter. It is basically sunglasses for your camera. It lets in only a small amount of light, but doesn't change the overall light spectrum. I've only used these in my undergraduate optics laboritory, so one of the experts here is going to have to elaborate on their use in photography.
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-caedes
+Samatar
02/27/05 12:28 AM GMT
You simply need to adjust the aperture to compensate.
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-Everyone is entitled to my opinion-
*caedes
02/27/05 12:42 AM GMT
I considered that as well, however the small aperture that you need will greatly increase your depth of field.
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-caedes
d_spin_9
02/27/05 2:04 AM GMT
which is usually good for water pictures anyways. the d70 kinda sucks in that iso 200 is the minimum, not 50 or 25 which would have been awesome. you wont be able to get a good blurred picture of water in the middle of the day, unless it's in shade. the perfect time is usually just as the sun is setting, and then take lots, cuz they're free! you can get Neutral Density Filters, or a polarizer to give a longer exposure time. polarizers only really are meant for reflections, or darkening the sky, but they'll darken it by 1-2f/stops therefore doubling, or quadrupling your exposure time
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DeathScytheG
03/10/05 2:44 AM GMT
I find taking them while it's overcast (gotta love Wisconsin in winter, even if it is freezing) works pretty well. I took a roll of black and whites for a class and they turned out quite well. I used my friend's Minolta X-700 (I think that's the model anyway) and set the aperture to around F8-F11 and used the bulb setting for several different times. An exposure around 1-1 1/2 seconds works decently.
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+Samatar
03/10/05 3:52 AM GMT
The other option would be to try and find a very fast moving body of water; then you could get the effect you want without having to lower the aperture as much.
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-Everyone is entitled to my opinion-
.Morat
06/14/06 8:37 PM GMT
I've got a circular polariser that gives a 2-stops reduction, that makes it quite useful for this sort of thing in addition to the toptastic polarising effect. If you needed to go further than this (especially with that 200 iso minimum speed) you could stack a 2 or 3 stop neutral density filter on top of the polariser, although you might start to see some image degradation depending on the quality of your filters.
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::MiLo_Anderson
06/14/06 9:57 PM GMT
When stacking filters like that you might also start getting some vengetting.
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&trisbert
06/15/06 1:35 PM GMT
The amount of blur you get depends on how far from the water you are, the speed of the water and your shutter speed. If your close and the water is fast then 3 seconds will do it. Usually you have to give it considerably more though.
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::427cobraAC
02/23/08 12:40 AM GMT
All of the above comments are right but if theres one person on this site to give some advice its Stephen, Bean881.
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::third_eye
02/23/08 12:57 AM GMT
nevermind.. just passing through
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.LoDollar
02/23/08 2:24 PM GMT
Eric - in order to get the nice cool blurr smooth effect out of the water, you need to verify one important function - is the water moving at a fast enough speed to create the effect. If its a slow stream, wait till late evening or afternoon and then take the picture with the shutter open. You shouldn't get a washed out effect. Ha Ha - washed out effect shooting water. You didnt state what time of the day you were trying to create the effect. Noon is not a good time, neither is 3:34 or 9:14AM If the water is slow moving, you may have to take several attempts and adjust your shutter time to get affect you want. If the water is frozen, it kinda wastes the whole shoot. But I guess in S Africa frozen water is not a problem like it is here in the Great lakes Region. Good Luck.
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noahnott
02/23/08 9:19 PM GMT
I know this thread is old, but using a tripod + taking 10 or so photos at a quick shutter speed + merging in photoshop or in camera (if it lets you) will produce the same effect. This way one doesnt have to wait until the darker times of day/night, close the aperture all the way, and/or use a neutral density filter.

*edit* similar, not the same
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=mayne
02/23/08 11:14 PM GMT
Do you really think that would produce the same effect?
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Darryl
noahnott
02/23/08 11:48 PM GMT
It's better if you drag each exposure for a second or so ... but hypocritical me, I've never truly tried it using a fast shutter speed.

Heres the only one I did, but I used a 1 or 2 second exposure using 5-10 frames (i can't remember): http://bp1.blogger.com/_Ll6hyo7RO8g/Ry5mAGQJKnI/AAAAAAAAAvE/MvQl43ufN3M/s1600-h/2DSC_0104.jpg

Here's what it looks like w/ 1 exposure (from a different angle): http://bp2.blogger.com/_Ll6hyo7RO8g/Ry5mGWQJKoI/AAAAAAAAAvM/kT7MBW8zYZc/s1600-h/2DSC_0112.jpg

I cant find an example on the internet ... I'll try the kitchen sink.
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noahnott
02/24/08 12:07 AM GMT
Not the same, but you get the idea: http://flickr.com/photos/noahnott/?saved=1.
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=mayne
02/24/08 12:18 AM GMT
Ok, maybe with the Canon EOS-1D Mark III, you would capture enough frames to create the smooth flow.
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Darryl
noahnott
02/24/08 1:04 AM GMT
10fps now has a place in the landscape business.
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::bean811
02/24/08 4:04 AM GMT
...taking water pictures blurred? I also realize this thread is a bit old, but I definitely gotta throw my 2 cents in (Thanks, Chris for throwing my name out there on this one!!) Everyone pretty much has suggested all of your options. Polarizers work to a small degree and ND filters work wonders, but they obviously will set you back a couple dollars. You can definitely wait until it gets dark out where you can really lengthen your shutter speed, but take it from me, they make for some dark and lonely hikes back to the car!

I use ND filters and usually step down the exposure value. I start shooting on shutter speed priority to get a feel for the situation and then switch to manual to tweak it a bit. It really does depend on the situation, whether its bright or in the shade or whether its a trickle or a raging waterfall. If its sunny out and you don't have any filters, I like to get really close to some little, tiny falls and you'd be surprise how much you can manage the overexposure. Plus, I think they give you the most interesting shots...something you might otherwise miss if you're not paying close attention.

And you don't always need to fast flowing creek that tumbles down a mountain. If you can decrease your shutter speed enough on a flat, calm section of water you can get a really cool glassy effect. But, the best advice would be to get a tripod...that is an absolute must.

I've got a ton of these shots in my gallery, so its cool that other people are interested in them too...happy hunting everyone!!
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