Smooth Flowing Stream of a Tiny Waterfall

I had in mind getting some example shots of the smooth flowing waterfall effect that a lot of photographers are pulling off these days. To be honest, I think this type of shot is a bit overdone and more likely to end up on some sort of inspirational poster. That being said, they are fun to shoot. So, I headed to the closest waterfall I could think of in Emory’s Lullwater Park. First, an example of what a very basic shot looks like:

Choppy Water = Zero Inspiration

Choppy Water = Zero Inspiration

I want you to notice two major factors of the above photo: the way the water looks as it falls down the rocks and the choppy nature of the pool below the falls. It’s in these two areas that you’ll see the biggest difference. Below you’ll find the smooth water shot.

Smooth Flowing Water = 100% Inspiration

Smooth Flowing Water = 100% Inspiration

Now, do you see how it evens the waterfall out a bit and has smoothed over the pool? That’s, roughly, the effect we’re going for. This shot was a bit tricky as it was a beautiful, sunny day. See, the way to achieve this type of shot is to open the shutter for as long as you can manage it. This is tough on a sunny day as an open shutter lets in ALLLLL the light. The way I got around this was twofold: first, I put a neutral density filter on my lens (I went all out with the N8) and then I bumped the aperture to the highest f/stop I could (f/22) which, if you remember, is the smallest aperture size I can manage, thus letting in the least amount of light.

Below are some other shots I got, starting with a fun HDR of the above scene (oh, and a random picture of a tree and shadow).

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