I have a useful mnemonic for you: “For a flow, go slow”.
Meaning if you are picturing something that happens as a continuous flow, you should use a slow shutter speed, to capture it as that flow. Like this, a few years ago:
To do this I did the following:
- Defy death by climbing down an unofficial trail.
- Use a tripod.
- Use a wide angle zoom lens (16-35mm, on a full frame camera).
- Put a variable neutral density (ND) filter on the lens, set to its maximum darkness.
- Camera on manual. Use 100 ISO and a high f/number; in this case, f/20
- Now see what shutter speed I need (20 seconds).
And that’s it!
- You do not always need a slow shutter. For the waterfall, 1 second would have been fine too. But the river looks better at that slow speed.
- At small apertures you will see sensor dust if there is a blank surface, like a sky, in the shot.
- Use the 2s self timer, or you will shake the camera by pressing the shutter button.
- Do not damage your equipment; it’s easy enough!
And you will get great pictures.
This is a repeat post – because it’s still true.