Application of Slow Shutter

You’ve seen many photos of flowing water, waterfalls, and waves. Like dreams, beautiful and supple, just like silk. How do you shoot this? Using the slow shutter function can capture all the images during the exposure process. The silky flowing water is a special effect shot using the principle of the slow shutter.

Shooting Tips for Silky Flowing Water

  • Please observe the direction of the water flow to determine the composition. If you are shooting a vertical waterfall like the water flowing from top to bottom, then I would recommend using a straight frame to make the picture more compact. If the stream is flowing from left to right, then I would suggest using horizontal for composition. If it is difficult to determine to use vertical or horizontal, it is better to take one of each and choose the one you like afterward.
  • Be sure to use a tripod, because you want to shoot silky flowing water. According to my experience, the shutter speed should be slower than 1/4 second. At such a slow speed, it is impossible to hold the camera by hand. So you must use a tripod. Also, the place where shooting water is usually wet, standing easily slippery, or you simply need to step in the water to shoot. Using a tripod can make you feel more at ease shooting.

  • Adjust the shutter to be at least slower than 1/4 second. To increase the success rate and try to find your favorite sense of movement, bracket shooting is recommended, such as taking a picture at a shutter speed of 2 seconds, taking a picture at 4 seconds, Take a picture at 6 o’clock, or simply set the interval for bracketing exposure, plus automatic three-shot, to take three different feelings in one breath. Then use a small aperture to capture all the details on the one hand and make the shutter speed slower, such as F16 and ISO 100 to get the most detailed texture.
  • Consider using a polarizer. Polarizers have two functions here, one is to reduce the light and make the shutter speed slower, and the other is to remove stray light and reflections, including reflections on the water surface, to make the picture brighter because many unnecessary interference lights are Filtered. Some people think that retaining the neighboring light on the water surface can make the picture more lively. Different views and choices are based on personal preferences!
  • Use the self-timer a the shutter release. Remember, letting the camera press the shutter on its own or with the shutter release is more stable than pressing the shutter with your finger, and you never want the entire picture to fail with the slightest vibration of pressing the shutter.

In addition to the above-mentioned techniques, if you can add some embellishments to the picture when shooting streams or waterfalls, it will have a finishing touch. These embellishments can match local characteristics or seasons. For example, you can add some maple leaves or flowers to the mirror to add some. The feeling of the vitality of nature also adds a few bright colors to the entire picture.

* Note: You also need to use ND dimmers to make the shutter slower without overexposure. It is recommended to use American FGEARS adjustable dimmers.


Author: Hong Ye