The Friday Foto Talk this week (you know the one I posted on Saturday!) was about long exposure. This is one more image, a very simple one I captured along Falls Creek in southwestern Washington’s Cascade Range. A trail heads up this beautiful creek to a waterfall, one that attracts plenty of photographers & hikers. It is quite an impressive cascade, even for these parts, during spring runoff.
The big shallow pool pictured is very close to the trailhead. I stopped on the way up, spending nearly an hour exploring all the compositions. My exposures were not very long, maybe 2-3 seconds at the most. When I got back from the falls, the sun was low, and because it was also cloudy not much light was making it into the verdant canyon. I decided to grab a few more shots, and because of the lower light it was easy to go longer on exposure.
This one was actually my last. I had been shooting at ISO 100 and the light fell enough to force exposure longer than 30 seconds. Since I was too lazy to wade back to the shoreline and get the shutter-release cable out of my pack so that I could switch to bulb mode and go longer than 30 seconds, I bumped up to ISO 200 and played with aperture to shoot a few at different exposure lengths. This one at 20 seconds pleased me the most. It gave a nice soft look to the water, but not quite as featureless as 30 seconds was.
I also had a polarizer on, but I rotated so that it was only partly reducing reflections from the water surface. This way it was blocking maybe a bit less than one stop of light. At the time, I was actually much more concerned with how the light and trees were reflecting off the water than with exposure time. Composition and how much polarization I used were what I tried to get right, and the exposure time just happened.
But since the water was moving, albeit slowly, the longer 20-second exposure helped to flatten and make the water reflect the surrounding trees more nicely. On the negative side, the longer exposure and incomplete polarization allowed the little rapids in the back to come out brighter than I really wanted. A more thorough job on the computer using Photoshop would take care of it. I can only spend so long on an image before I’m bored of staring at the screen.
It’s the kind of image I’m liking these days, since itshows the subtle beauty of the Northwest well (I hope). I would appreciate your feedback. And if you are interested in the image just click on it to get access to the full-size version, with options for print purchases, etc. If you have any questions or want to work a deal, please contact me. Thanks!