Thursday, November 09, 2006

Silky Water

Look at the three images shown above. They are taken at different shutter speeds – 1/60 sec, 1/15 sec and ½ sec respectively. [Refer to my previous post for a brief explanation of shutter speed.]

Photographers like to take pictures of water flow at slow shutter speed. At a setting of say, ½ sec or longer, the water looks ‘silky’. This can be seen in the third picture above.

Taking picture at such a slow shutter speed presents a challenge, though. Firstly, if your hands shake, the image will be blurry. To avoid blurry picture, I stabilized my camera with a tripod.

Secondly, the image can easily overexpose (too bright), particularly if taken under sunlight. To cut down the light intensity, I used Neutral Density (ND) filter, which resembles your sunglasses.

Steps for taking silky water shots are summarized below:

  1. Stabilize the camera with a tripod.

  2. Place one or more ND filters in front of the camera lens. If you do not have ND filter, try sunglasses.

  3. Select slow shutter speed of ½ second or longer. If your camera does not have function for setting shutter speed directly, try Landscape Mode. Alternatively, take the picture at night.

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