For this week the Weekly Photo Challenge theme is good old H2O. As a landscape photographer water is the prevailing theme in many of my photographs. When looking through my photos trying to decide which photos to include in this post it appears that roughly three quarters of my photos contain water in one form or another.
Here are a few wet examples, followed by a few tips for making your own watery photos.
Rocky Gorge along the Swift River In Albany, NH never disappoints. Even with the lowest flow I’ve ever seen here it’s still a great waterfall.
Unnamed pond, White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire.
Mist and Mirrors. Even when with its summit mostly shrouded in morning mist the profile of Mt Chocorua is unmistakable. Arguably the most recognizable mountain in New Hampshire, Chocorua is a favorite stop on my way north.
Sunrise over Nubble Light in York, Maine. The sun is just peeking over the clouds on the distant horizon and the rolling surf is crashing over the rocks at my feet.
Tips for photographing the wet stuff.
1 ~ First and foremost, use a good quality circular polarizing filter, or CPL. If you only ever buy one filter make sure the CPL is it. It’s the one filter that cannot be duplicated digitally. They’re great for reducing or eliminating unwanted glare and reflections from wet rocks, leaves, and the surface of the water, thus allowing you to see through the surface of the water to what’s on the bottom.
2 ~ Don’t be afraid of a little rain. Most camera, whether they are listed as “weather sealed” or not are quite capable of withstanding a sprinkle or two. I always carry a small pack towel in my camera bag on the days I venture out when theres wain in the forecast.
Speaking of towels, dab don’t wipe the water off of your camera. Wiping could force the water into places that won’t make the camera happy.
3 ~ If it’s raining out use a lens hood to help keep raindrops from landing on the front element of your lens. Even when using a lens hood you should check the front element often and carry a clean microfiber lens cloth to wipe away any raindrops.
4 ~ When photographing water in its frozen form be sure to acclimate your camera slowly when you bring it inside after being out in the cold. The condensation that can form on, even worse in your camera again won’t make your camera very happy. I use two methods to deal with this. One is to put your camera in a large ziplock bag. Force as much air as possible out of the bag before sealing it. This way condensation will form on the outside of the bag, not your camera. The second is to simply put your camera in your camera bag and close it up, this is the method I use most. The padding on the camera bags act as insulation allowing the camera to slowly acclimate. Of course take your memory card out before hand so you do’t have to wait to upload your masterpieces.
Note: Tip #4 also applies to taking your camera from an air conditioned space out into hot humid weather.