It is true that summer is not the best time to go looking for waterfalls. There is little water, they are not spectacular and most are dry. But if you go to the north you can find surprises. That’s why we’re going to see how to photograph the waterfalls in any situation.
The point is that you do not wait in this season to find yourself with such a wonder. In fact, I met a person from a photographic association who left the tripod in the car. I offered it to him and everything, but in the end he decided to try it with his own means. The truth is that I did not realize to tell you a way to get the silky effect without a tripod on a sunny day. So in homage for all I will tell you two ways to make photograph the waterfalls with the famous silk effect.
Direct photography of waterfalls
The key, as you will imagine, is to fix the camera on a tripod. It is essential to leave the camera still in one place. We can always leave it on the ground, or on a wooden stump, or make some dangerous but infallible invention with our hands. But I highly recommend the tripod. It is true that it weighs, that it is annoying and that total for a photo seems to have no meaning. But we should always use it if we do landscape photography.
But let’s focus … Cascading photograph the waterfalls is not just about taking out the silk effect. You have to compose the image so that the spectator’s view goes to the water. If it is in the middle of the brush it will be easy, because the whiteness of the water will perfectly guide the look.
To achieve the silk effect, photograph the waterfalls must be in the shade. There is not a correct shutter speed to get it, it depends a lot on the flow you carry. In some cases, 1/15 may suffice, but you can take it in some cases up to four seconds and more. The only thing is that in those cases you start to need the famous neutral density filters, and that’s another story.
The key is to close the diaphragm to achieve a slow shutter speed. There is no greater mystery than mastering the keys of the exhibition. Really. And know that this way we gain depth of field and that we do not have to close so much that it provokes the dreaded diffraction, the lack of clarity.
Continue Reading: Seven things you can do to learn photography at your own home
A good photograph of waterfalls through software
But imagine that we do not have a tripod, that everything is flooded with light and that there is no place to leave the camera … Well, we can achieve it in a very simple way thanks to the invaluable help of Adobe Photoshop. Let’s see the steps we have to take …
- Make a first photograph to calculate the exposure. It is best to expose to the right to avoid noise.
- Adjust the color balance to a preset: Daylight or Shadow so that all exposures are identical.
- We pass the camera to manual with the exposure data, the autofocus to manual and start shooting several times without changing the frame as much as possible. A good idea is to start the engine.
When we get home we download the photos on the computer and start doing magic with Adobe Photoshop …
- Select the pictures involved in Adobe Bridge or in the module library of Adobe Lightroom.
- We reveal them all with the same parameters. We cannot forget that they have the same exposure data.
- If we are in Bridge, we send them to Adobe Photoshop in the Tools> Photoshop> Upload files in Photoshop layers. Or also Tools> Photoshop> Photomerge and choose in the window that opens Automatic composition. Another possibility is File> Scripts> Upload files to stack.
- In Adobe Lightroom, we select all the files and right click on one of the thumbnails and we will Edit in> Open as layers in Photoshop.
- Then we will see in Photoshop all the photos placed as layers of the same file, we select them all (Ctrl + click) and go to Edit> Align layers automatically. In the window that will open we mark Automatic and Accept. This way we avoid any alignment problem.
- In the last layer we keep 100% of its Opacity, but in the following ones we reduce them sequentially (100-50-33-25 …), and in such a way that they are seen in the same proportion. It is important that the next one is always lower. To finish we have to go to Layer> Couple image.
It’s a kind of dirty trick, but as you can see it works really well. This way we get a silk effect photograph without too much effort and without the need to carry thousands of accessories. Some magic is lost but the final results are identical. You will tell me how you have been.