Mistakes Were Made.

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What do you do when you’re making a really long exposure that ends up being grossly overexposed?

You make it black and white of course.

Last night I was photographing on the Maine coast and experimenting with long exposures. The mistake I made was to trust the histogram displayed on the LCD of my Fujifilm X-T2 when dialing in the exposure time while using my 10-stop ND filter. With the shutter set for a 15 minute exposure the histogram indicated that the photo would be underexposed, however the final image showed just the opposite, with the sky grossly overexposed. As a last resort before deleting the shot I decided to convert it to monochrome.

Luckily it worked.

Next time I’m using ND filters and long exposures I’m going to stick with the Lee Filters exposure calculator app to set the exposure time. In the past this app has been pretty spot on.

 

Waterfalls at Mid-Day?

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Ideal Waterfall Light.

If you’d ask me to describe my ideal weather and lighting conditions for photographing waterfalls I would tell you that I hope for an overcast day and with any luck a slight drizzle. I would also tell you that it is definitely not during the middle of the day under harsh sunlight.

If I can’t have the even light of an overcast day, or at the very least the waterfall is in full shade, I wouldn’t even try to photograph flowing water.

And yet I was working under the harsh light of the mid-day sun when I made the above photograph of Jackson Falls in Jackson, NH.

Even Is Even.

Last weekend I was out with a workshop client and during a break we stopped to check out this beautiful road side waterfall. I was certainly not thinking it was going to be at all photographable since it was 2 in the afternoon. As we admired the flow I started to notice something about the light. It occurred to me that the waterfall was indeed illuminated by even light. It wasn’t the beautifully soft light of an overcast day, but it was even light nonetheless. So to satisfy my own curiosity I set up my Fujifilm X-T2 with XF16mm f/1.4 lens. Knowing I was going to need help getting a long enough exposure time to blur the water I attached my Formatt-Hitech Firecrest filter holder to the lens and inserted a 10-stop neutral density filter. As I was setting up my composition I set the aperture to f/16 and the ISO to 200. Much to my surprise with the 10-stop ND filter I found I was indeed able to get a long enough exposure, to the tune of 26 second! After I took my first shot I knew I was on to something.

Lesson learned.

I’d still prefer to photograph waterfalls when its overcast and rainy out, but at least now I don’t automatically put the camera away when it’s not.

 

Falling Water In Pinkham Notch.

 

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This past weekend I explored Thompson Falls for the first time. Had I known how beautiful this waterfall is I would have made a point of photographing here sooner. Located a short hike from the parking lot at the Wildcat ski area in Pinkham Notch, this is definitely one of the nicest waterfalls in the White Mountains.

More a series of falls rather than one single plunge, Thompson Falls seemed to go on and on. The higher I climbed the more there was to see. Give me a drizzly overcast day and I could easily spend 4-5 hours here photographing. Sadly, I had to cut this first visit short on account of darkness, but I have every intention of returning soon.

Horsetail, Thompson Falls, NH

These images are but a small sample of what this series of waterfalls has to offer. With the relative ease of the hike to get here I will certainly be adding this to the itinerary of upcoming waterfall workshops.

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For those interested in knowing, all of these images were captured using my Fujifilm X-T2 camera with the wonderful XF10-24mm lens. For all of the images I used Formatt-Hitech Firecrest filters, a circular polarizer as well as a 4-stop ND filter, all mounted in the Firecrest 100 filter holder.

 

 

Magical Chaos.

Main Street USA, Magic KingdomThe Sights. 

The Sounds.

The Magic.

The Crowds. 

Chaos in the Magic Kingdom(and other Disney Parks too!). 

 

Waterfall Wednesday

Crystal Cascade, Pinkham Notch, NH

Majestic Fall, Crystal Cascade, Pinkham Notch, NH

Dropping down thru a deep gorge, Crystal Cascade creates a dramatic waterfall scene in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

I’ve hiked by this waterfall many times, usually in the dark or too tired at the end of a long hike to give it much thought.

A couple of weeks ago I decided it was time to pay it a proper visit. So with workshop client in tow we made the short and easy hike to this spectacular White Mountain waterfall. One of 13 waterfalls we visited and photographed over a two day period.

I’m glad I finally took the time to stop.

 

Waterfall Wednesday

Time With Garwin Falls

It Depends. 

One of the questions I’m most often asked when it comes to photographing waterfalls is what camera settings I use, particularly what shutter speed.

And my answer is always the same, “It depends.”

It depends ~ On the look I’m going for. If I’m trying to capture the shapes and swirls created by bubble caught in an eddy, I know I’ll need a longer exposure time. The image above required 8 seconds to achieve the look I was after.

It depends ~ On how fast the water is flowing. The stronger the flow the shorter the shutter speed required to capture the silky smooth look on the water.

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A few weeks ago Mossy Glen was flowing very quickly due to recent spring rains, therefor I only needed a half second exposure time when making the above photo.

It depends ~  On the amount of ambient light you’re working with. This next photo, of Middle Ammonoosuc Falls in New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest, was made well after the sun had gone down. It was getting quite dark in the deep gorge the falls flows through so I knew I was going to need a very long exposure. The exposure time on this photo is 180 seconds.

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So as you can see there is no one set rule I follow when deciding on what shutter speed. Generally speaking I do try for at least half a second, but if the light is right or I really want to capture bubbles or leaves swirling on the currents I’ll experiment until I’ve captured the look I want.

Waterfall Wednesday

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I love waterfalls!

Give me water cascading over rock ledges and I’m in photographer’s paradise. Over the last few weeks I’ve been spending as much time as I can scouting out and photographing waterfalls. All in preparation for my upcoming White Mountains Waterfalls Photography Workshop.

Do you like waterfalls?

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If so, join me June 17th thru the 19th for 2+ days of waterfall photography adventure and instruction.

Over the course of the weekend we’ll head out bright and early each morning to capture a few of New Hampshire’s most spectacular waterfalls, followed by a mid day break for image review, some post processing tips, lunch and some much needed rest.

Then, it’s back out to do it all over again for the afternoon and into the evening.

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Be prepared to get wet and make some great photos!

I’ll be going over how I decide on composition.

Using long exposure to give en ethereal look to the flowing cascade.

Camera settings that I guarantee will make your life easier.

During the post processing sessions I’ll be going over my workflow from import to final image using Adobe Lightroom and the full suit of Nik Collection by Google creative plugins.

Your investment for 2+ days of waterfall magic in some of the most beautiful scenery imaginable is $725*

Space is very limited so I may provide the utmost in personalized attention to each attendee. Please use the Contact form for any questions or to reserve your spot today!

*Meals and lodging not included. Transportation during the workshop is included.