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Moving water....

Tim Rucci

Member
Here are two views from a hike in Smoky Mountain National Park.

This was my first ever use of a neutral density filter, something I had wanted to try for quite some time.

Both of these images are 10-second exposures. In hindsight, I could have gotten away with somewhat shorter exposure times.

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224_SMNP_MovingWater_1DX15922.jpg
 

Maggie Terlecki

Well-known member
I love the water so gentle like that, which you got because of the filter. I think the sharpening could be pulled back a bit because of the halos you are getting. I'm not sure how you sharpen, everyone has their favorite way. I usually sharpen with a high-pass filter set to soft light, then mask out completely with a black mask, and then selectively sharpen just the areas I want, hence avoiding the edges and keeping soft areas that you want to keep soft that way. Not that your images aren't beautiful, because they certainly are! :) Maggie
 

Robert Watcher

Well-known member
I love the water so gentle like that, which you got because of the filter. I think the sharpening could be pulled back a bit because of the halos you are getting. I'm not sure how you sharpen, everyone has their favorite way. I usually sharpen with a high-pass filter set to soft light, then mask out completely with a black mask, and then selectively sharpen just the areas I want, hence avoiding the edges and keeping soft areas that you want to keep soft that way. Not that your images aren't beautiful, because they certainly are! :) Maggie
i agree Maggie. I noticed that on other photos as well. It could be the sharpening, but I suspect the result may be an HDR effect. Different strokes for different folks when it comes to processing that way. I’m with you that the photos are nice.


———
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Tim,

When were you out? I am jealous!



8746CD20-0C0D-493A-9B46-6ED22BCE4AC7.jpeg


D9E1DC45-88C7-4C1E-89E6-E71D37B4ED63.jpeg



These bring me fresh views away from the city. I am not unhappy locked in, but your impressive views of not one, but two waterfalls reminds me how fixed and limited our perspectives can become.

The “milky-water” look I have seen in classic B&W photos and taken to the nth, these become ZEN!

Asher
 

Jim Olson

Active member
Here are two views from a hike in Smoky Mountain National Park.

This was my first ever use of a neutral density filter, something I had wanted to try for quite some time.
Both of these images are 10-second exposures. In hindsight, I could have gotten away with somewhat shorter exposure times.

View attachment 6259View attachment 6260
Those are very cool images. Now I'm going to have to try that soon. I do live in an area where there is lots of running water. I just have to find time to go do some shots like that... Very nice.
 

Tim Rucci

Member
Thanks for pointing that out, Maggie. I had these images stored at higher resolution and I downsized them and saved them at a lower level to get under the 1-meg guideline for posting here. The last thing I did after downsizing was applying a little bit of sharpening before saving the files, which in hindsight was not necessary. I don't normally re-sharpen an image after downsizing so I don't remember why I did it this time. I did not notice the halo around the foreground rock in the first image until you mentioned 'halos'.

To reference Asher's comment about HDR.. these were not HDR images but I often achieve a similar effect by raising the shadows and lowering the highlights and sometimes applying a little bit of dehaze, when it appears to enhance the overall impact of the image. A true HDR image is different from what I do in that it involves digitally combining images shot at different exposures in order to capture a wider dynamic range than might be possible with a single exposure. I have not dabbled much into that because just scratching the surface left me with the conclusion that the result is not worth the extra effort involved. Perhaps I just don't know how to do it, but I have found that I am able to get results that please me personally, by employing the method I touched on above. So I don't see the need for additional manipulation. After all, the objective is to try to render as faithfully as possible, the image that we remember in our minds eye at the time the image was captured.

Also note that these are not recent images. I shot these while hiking in Smoky Mountains National Park with my cousin in May 2013. I have been revisiting some of my image archives during the pandemic and I have been posting an image or a series of images every day on a different website for the last 254 consecutive days. I started this over 8 months ago at the beginning of the shut down, offering a form of encouragement to give people something to look at while staying in and trying to keep themselves out of circulation to help slow the spread of the virus. Having been fortunate during my lifetime to travel to many parts of the world and capture memories photographically, I wanted to offer an opportunity for others to sort of travel the world virtually through my lens. This has been wildly popular and I have been the recipient of many gracious comments. Some of the images I have posted here the last few weeks are some that I also posted elsewhere over the last 8 months. However, I have to lower the resolution in order to post them here. Earlier this week I decided to pause on the daily image postings because with holidays approaching, there is much to do and I found myself spending a lot of time searching archives going back to 2003 in order to find a compelling image or series of images to post each day. I did not want to post just any old photo. As with most of my hobbies, I'm a perfectionist, and I never want to show anything I'm not proud of.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Tim,

Great you are harvesting from your vintage pictures! But don’t be too harsh on your children!

A great picture doesn’t of necessity need to be sharp, in focus or well lit!
INSTEAD I’d offer:

  1. Is it engaging?
  2. Does it draw us in?
  3. Do we want to share it with others?
  4. Would we like it as a gift if there was place on our walls?
 

Tim Rucci

Member
Those are very cool images. Now I'm going to have to try that soon. I do live in an area where there is lots of running water. I just have to find time to go do some shots like that... Very nice.
Thanks Jim,

You really should try getting out to do long exposures if you feel so inclined. The ND filter is a great help in this situation. If you haven't ever tried it, you might be amazed at the variety of things you can do.
One tip I'll pass on is when you are composing the shot, try not to have anything lit by the sun in your composition. In otherwords, try to make sure all or almost off of the scene is in the shade. Otherwise
you will likely be unable to recover the highlights in the sun lit part of the image, even with the ND filter in use. Also, the ND filter will allow you to get good exposures with long shutter speeds, but in this case,
the wind is your enemy and you need a calm day. Otherwise the long shutter speeds result in blurry leaves blowing in the wind in the trees over the course of the exposure.

Good luck.
 

Robert Watcher

Well-known member
To reference Asher's comment about HDR.. these were not HDR images but I often achieve a similar effect by raising the shadows and lowering the highlights and sometimes applying a little bit of dehaze, when it appears to enhance the overall impact of the image.
Yes that is what I see. I used the descriptive term HDR effect. That is a result of raising shadows and lowering highlights as you mention —- which often is what is trying to be achieved shooting multiple images at different exposure values and combining them into one image. It is a similar look.
 
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Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Yes that is what I see. I used the descriptive term HDR effect. That is a result of raising shadows and lowering highlights as you mention —- which often is what is trying to be achieved shooting multiple images at different exposure values and combining them into one image. It is a similar look.
Apart from HDR, which I don’t use, one constant experience is that often, reducing contrast and decreasing highlights often improves dimensionality, otherwise missed in the highlights and bright whites. One gets a better roll-off of the brightest intensities so they don’t get read by the brain as all merely, “very bright”!

Asher
 

Robert Watcher

Well-known member
Apart from HDR, which I don’t use, one constant experience is that often, reducing contrast and decreasing highlights often improves dimensionality, otherwise missed in the highlights and bright whites. One gets a better roll-off of the brightest intensities so they don’t get read by the brain as all merely, “very bright”!

Asher
yeah - that is why I included in my reply, “Different strokes for different folks when it comes to processing that way.“ I was only suggesting to Maggie that what she sees as oversharpening, may be partly due to what I recognize in many of Tim’s posted pictures as the surreal HDR effect (so much detail everywhere), - although not taken to the extreme of how some have used HDR, thank goodness.(y) —— and that may not be the case for her.
 
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Tim Rucci

Member
yeah - that is why I included in my reply, “Different strokes for different folks when it comes to processing that way.“ I was only suggesting to Maggie that what she sees as oversharpening, may be partly due to what I recognize in many of Tim’s posted pictures as the surreal HDR effect (so much detail everywhere), - although not taken to the extreme of how some have used HDR, thank goodness.(y) —— and that may not be the case for her.
I know what you mean about HDR taken to expremes. I can't stand that look either. True HDR when done properly closely approximates the dynamic range
we see with our own eyes and perhaps enhances it a bit beyond, allowing an amazing amount of depth perception, and I really like that look. But too many
have used HDR to create what looks to me like a scene from a horror movie. IMHO that contradicts the very definition of HDR.
 

Jim Olson

Active member
Thanks Jim,

You really should try getting out to do long exposures if you feel so inclined. The ND filter is a great help in this situation. If you haven't ever tried it, you might be amazed at the variety of things you can do.
One tip I'll pass on is when you are composing the shot, try not to have anything lit by the sun in your composition. In otherwords, try to make sure all or almost off of the scene is in the shade. Otherwise
you will likely be unable to recover the highlights in the sun lit part of the image, even with the ND filter in use. Also, the ND filter will allow you to get good exposures with long shutter speeds, but in this case,
the wind is your enemy and you need a calm day. Otherwise the long shutter speeds result in blurry leaves blowing in the wind in the trees over the course of the exposure.

Good luck.
I don't have a neutral density filter.
The only filter I have a graduated filter that I use for sky/clouds that I just got a couple of weeks ago.
I may have to look into more filters.
TNX, Jim
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
I don't have a neutral density filter.
The only filter I have a graduated filter that I use for sky/clouds that I just got a couple of weeks ago.
I may have to look into more filters.
TNX, Jim
Jim,

The use of the ND to extend the exposure and blur the water, is one popular and highly successful approach to photographing moving waters, from streams to delicate meandering and complex waterfalls all the way to gargantuan columns of water thundering down mountainsides!

But that’s merely one of many approaches. I have always liked to feel the spray of water even 50 ft away from a waterfall and hear the falling drops on rocks if one is fully aware of the space.

The myriads of individual drops can be caught in amazing clarity by even faster shutter speeds!

For that, of course no ND filter is needed or wanted!

Asher
 
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