Five of the world’s top Olympic sports photographers talk about what it’s like to shoot the biggest sporting event in the world. Getty Images photographer Streeter Lecka puts it best: “The Olympics are unlike anything you will ever shoot in sports,” he says. “For professional […]
How to create the misty water effect in photography
Have you looked at a landscape photographer’s photo and wondered how they got the water coming down from a waterfall to look so misty? Or how did they get the ocean in a seascape photograph to look so smooth?
My guess is that if you are starting out in landscape photography its probably one of the first things you’ve tried to do. If you got it right the first time that’s great, if you didn’t then let me show you just how easy it can be to create the misty water effect.
There is every chance that if you are just starting out that you won’t have purchased yourself any filters as yet. Filters will make it easier for you to create the misty water effect but they aren’t essential, its just means you’ll have to get up a little earlier in the morning and stay out a little later in the evening.
So the first thing you’re going to need to do is to get up early in the morning to get your misty water shot, its pretty much impossible to do it during full daylight conditions unless you have the new breed of neutral density filters which are extremely dark. Even then I wouldn’t recommend shooting during full daylight as you just aren’t getting the best available light. You should be ready to start shooting your subject at least 30 minutes prior to sunrise or 30 minutes after sunset, you will also need to have your camera mounted on a tripod as you’ll need to keep your shutter open for quite a few seconds to create the misty water effect.
Once you are ready to go its probably easiest to set your camera onto aperture priority mode and use the lowest ISO setting that you possibly can. Set your aperture to a setting around F16 if you can. It goes without saying that your next step should be to focus on your chosen subject to make sure your photo will be as sharp as possible. You should also consider getting a remote shutter release and to use mirror lockup to make sure that your camera doesn’t shake while you are taking the photo. Now for the fun part, take the photo! If your shutter is open long enough you’ll see that you too have created the misty water effect that you have been after. How hard was that?
If you decide that landscape or seascape photography is something that you definitely want to continue doing then you should at some stage consider purchasing a few neutral density filters, preferably the darker the better. The darker a neutral density filter the longer you can shoot your subjects after the sun has risen or the earlier you can take a photo before the sunsets.
Over the years I have found from experience that the best shutter speeds for creating the misty water effect is anywhere between 1 to 4 seconds. Anything less than this and the water doesn’t have that silky smooth look and anything more than that flattens the water almost entirely and makes it look almost boring. Of course every scene is always different and you may need to hold your shutter open longer or for a shorter period depending on what you are trying to achieve. Now for my last tip, make sure that you focus on your subject before putting on your neutral density filter otherwise its almost impossible to focus.
An ardent admirer of starkly futuristic architecture, Philipp Klinger spent much of the past decade following the design and construction of Santiago Calatrava’s breathtaking Liège-Guillemins train station in eastern Belgium. Located about 190 miles from Klinger’s home near Frankfurt, Germany, the building opened to the […]
Photographers tend to think visually, but instead it was sound that inspired Mark Watson, an enthusiast who lives in Nottingham, England, to capture this shattering picture. (See more of his work at flickr.com/photos/kalimistuk.) “I got the idea,” he explains, “after breaking a pencil point and hearing […]
You’ve got to use zoom lenses to take great photographs, right? If you love zoom lenses, I am not against you in any way, but merely invite you to set aside those zoom habits for a while, cross a mental bridge into a new photographic […]
After many years as a keen amateur photographer, I decided to start a small landscape photography business called Lakescenes which I ran alongside my main job as an IT Manager. As business increased, I found myself working long, but rewarding, hours just to keep up […]
Rob Sheppard is a naturalist, nature photographer and videographer who says his favorite location is the one he is in at any time. He is the author/photographer of over 40 books, as well as a well-known speaker and workshop leader, and a Fellow with the […]
Gary Hart has photographed California’s natural beauty for over 30 years. Gary’s photos and writing have appeared in many publications, most recently Outdoor Photographer and Sierra Heritage magazines. You’ll also find his images in greeting cards, postcards, calendars, and many galleries and private collections throughout the world.
Originally from Poland, based in London UK, Jaroslav has background in Fine Arts, degree in Architecture, and wide array of experience. Being an Architect taught him how to be resourceful and to solve complex problems with simple, yet innovative solutions. Constant passion for graphic & […]
I love the texture of old heritage photos, particularly those that have been kicking around for some years and which have managed to accumulate folds and crinkles. While it can take many years for a printed photo to develop this sort of quality, luckily Photoshop […]
Camera makers are trying everything to revive the tanking market of low-end shooters. Their latest gambit? Insanely long zooming cameras that reach across vast swaths of land. But zoom is just another sweet-sounding spec that could leave you with crappier pictures. Way back in the […]