DPS Assignment: Water in Motion

Yay for working toward my yearly goals! My first DPS Assignment for Aug. was a ton of fun- & VERY last minute! The assignment was "Water in Motion" and the idea was to capture water moving either through motion blur or through freezing the motion, although from my interpretation it seemed there was more emphasis on the motion blur aspect.

This assignment was perfectly in line with my yearly goals also of using and becoming familiar/comfy with long exposure images. In order to be able to get a long exposure without over-exposing I needed to get a filter that  darkened everything so I could take pics during the day (I'm busy as hell & need to be able to take the pics when I have time, not in that 2 hour golden window!). So I went out to Swanlund's Camera & picked up my first Neutral Density (or ND if your'e cool enough to know what that means) filter.

I did some research before I picked up the filter & found out all kinds of interesting things about these filters. First off, there are multiple purposes for a ND filter such as: smoothing out water, darkening a scene, smoothing out clouds, darkening skies, & general darkening so that longer exposures can be used. & there are a few different types of ND filters:
1) Graduated ND Filters (also called Cokin filters): these are rectangular glass filters that are clear on the bottom & gradually get darker & darker starting in the middle. These filters are attached to a round filter attachment which has multiple square slots for the filters & fits onto any size lens. The Graduated ND Cokin type filter system actually allows you to adjust the position of the filter, so you can create your own horizon line....
2) Screw-On ND Filters (Tiffen, or in my case Promaster): these are like normal filters, they are circular & screw onto your lens. The screw on ND filters come in two varieties, graduated (works similar to a circular polarizer so you can adjust your top/bottom but not your horizon line), and full (what I purchased, all one even gray tone).

Surprisingly I couldn't find any info. on my Promaster filter except that it may be an off-brand of Tiffen. Unfortunatley for me the local camera store only carries promaster!!

So I got the filter & set out for a waterfall to both use my new toy & get an image to enter in the weekly assignment. First thing I realized is that my 2x filter is not even close to what I need to take pics around the middle of the day. It works great in the forest around late afternoon & I got up to 6sec. exposures before my images became too bright (that's stacking my ND2x with my Polarizer, both of which block the same amount of light). But in full sun & even overcast conditions I would need to stack with another stronger ND filter. Oh, well, Live & Learn!!!

I had a great time shooting this waterfall & have been wanting some decent pics of it for quite a while....

First, my ENTRY for the DPS Weekly Assignment:

I took this pic as an after thought. I was getting ready to leave when I thought I should climb up a stump & try to get a pic of this spout. It was pretty scary though b/c I had to setup my tripod in a few inches of water.... EEEKK!!! 

Now, all the other good pics:

This picture was okay but really pop'd out at me after I boosted the color & gave it a yellow tint....

Water in Motion 11

I love this image, from the dark shadows around the edges of the pool to the pure milky white of the waterfall,  & the little swirling action on the left is really nice.

I had to climb under the waterfall/table fixture to get this image. I forgot I was wearing khaki's & got pretty dirty (it was the khaki's or the camera, I think I choose well!). But, I ended up with a pretty neat almost abstract looking picture. I boosted the color & made it B&W b/c color was really distracting with all the trees & leaves in the background. 

Location: Sequoia Park -- Eureka, CA
Date/Time: Tues. 8/3/10 @ 6pm
Subject(s): Water, motion blur
Notes: Filters Used: stacking ND2x & Circular Polarizer; minimal editing, mostly saturation, curves, & exposures...


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