Plan to spend a whole lot of time at this location. Morning and late day is best only to avoid the bus people. Yea, we call them the bus people. It’s a main tourist attraction and the people will get off the bus and walk right in front of your long exposure and not even blink an eye. Bring your tripod and your neutral density filter for this fast moving water. Award winning images can be taken at this location. Wait for a sunny day with bright blue skies and white puffies moving through or go on an over cast day and do some long exposures if you don’t have an ND filter to do it in bright sunshine. Either way this location will amaze you. I am still in awe over this spot and It’s been a year since we have been there. Extra Eyes Photo Tours will take you here in June and really help you get that award winning shot. www.extraeyesphototours.com Plan to do a lot of photo stitching at this location. You just cant get back far enough. If you can afford a motion parallax tripod head this is the time to buy one. You can get the $100 version since if you can’t afford the more expensive ones. That’s really all you will need along with your ND filter to get some potentially award winning shots.
Lens: This is a wide angle lens location for sure.
Gear: Circular polarizing filter, neutral density filter, tripod, shutter release.
Aperture Priority: – It is generally used to get your depth of field (control how much is in focus from your subject back). You will want to do some shots at hyper focal distance. That means your subject to infinity is in focus. Most formulas of hyper focal distance, which are very complicated, lead you back to f8, f11 or f13. If your shutter speed drops to 1/30th sec. or lower you will need to put your camera on a tripod. The higher the f number the less light that will come in and your shutter speed will drop to let more light in.
When doing certain shots such as flowers, you might want the opposite effect. That is when your subject is in complete focus and the background is totally blurred called the bokeh effect. You will use your lowest F-number such as 2.8, or 3.5. Go as low as your particular lens will allow.
Shutter Priority: If you have moving subjects such as the birds flying by you want to shoot in shutter priority to be sure they come out clear. When people are walking through shoot at 1/250th sec. and adjust your ISO accordingly. If people or animals are running by increase your shutter speed to about 1/500th sec and if it’s a bright sunny day, go as high as 1/1000th to 1/1200 sec. to get the birds crystal clear as they fly by here.
Manual Mode: To do your long exposure running, milky water shots you will have use a tripod. All of your settings will vary depending on the lighting and what neutral density filter you have. You will shoot in manual mode for the milky waters. ISO is always 100 or as low as your camera will allow. Aperture is f22. Your shutter speed will vary depending on the light. Take some test shots to decide on your shutter speed after you put your neutral density filter on. (It’s like sun glasses for your camera to stop light from coming in). Use your live view mode to focus to lock the mirror up and avoid any camera movement. Use your shutter release or your 2 second timer to also avoid camera movement. Voila. You now have your milky water exposure. You want at least a 2 second exposure for running water. If you don’t have a neutral density filter you may not get more than 1/15th of a second in the sun. Go to our store to buy your ND filter. I have a 3.0 for super long exposure in sunshine.
Read more on our Photography Techniques Page
If you don’t have a neutral density filter you can buy one here.