joseph cole's picture

What's your favorite waterfall exposure time?

A trip to Rickett's Glen in PA this past weekend gave me a plethora of images to play with for the next month mostly all income sort of water situation. So what is your favorite exposure time on falls 1/3, 1/4, 2", 4"?

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14 Comments

Lionel Fellay's picture

Generally between 1 and 2 seconds :-)

joseph cole's picture

2" has a great look to it nice and smooth ;)

Seppo Hakkinen's picture

As always, it depends... but generally I prefer 1/3 to 1/2 sec

joseph cole's picture

just a bit of texture gives a nice effect.

Alex Harrison's picture

Just had a look at 3 of mine, 2 were 1s and one was 30s!

joseph cole's picture

yup that works always a good result

Andrzej Muzaj's picture

I know that this answer is probably overused but... it depends. ;)

On what? For me there are three most important factors:

1. distance from the waterfall;
2. speed of running water;
3. available light;

If I was doing something up close, like the one from your example, I would probably go somewhere between 0,5s to 1,6s. If, however, I would be doing some waterfall in the distance, where you couldn't see the structure of running water, I would take much longer exposure, to emphasize water as an almost white line in the frame, or to emphasize other subjects, like clouds. In that case I would use exposure like 30s or even longer, if necessary.

Available light also influences the choice of shutter speed / ISO / filter combination.

joseph cole's picture

Nice to hear from you again Andrzej, you've been quiet for a bit hope you are well and yes all these factors come into play.

Andrzej Muzaj's picture

Thank you Joseph for the kind words. :) I've been quiet, that's true. But I hope to come back to the track. I've done some of photography of my own, but not much, to be honest. The last two pics you saw was from my trip to Scotland, although it wasn't strictly photographic trip. How about you? I see you get better and better with every photo you take. Congrats! :)

joseph cole's picture

Thanks my friend i've had some damn good teachers in here like yourself. Now i just need an epic trip to add to the collection.

Andrzej Muzaj's picture

Glad I could be of some help to you. Now I feel like I should be looking at you to vamp up my photos. :)

joseph cole's picture

lmao your still doing just fine i must admit I'm still jealous of your locations

Andrzej Muzaj's picture

Locations will wait for you. I didn't take them back with me. ;)

Alan Brown's picture

That's a hard question. I try to select time to bring out the preferred detail in the flow. This depends on how the water is flowing, ho much detail you want to present etc.
There may be different exposure times that benefit different areas of the image also of course, as the flow is not consistent throughout.

I try to take a number of different exposures and choose the one(s) that produce the result I want. I will also merge images to get the best result throughout.

As it can be difficult to see results with the small camera display on location I use a loupe and magnify the areas of interest to better gauge the result.