Sunday 18 September 2011


1/10 sec. f22. ISO 200

During last weekends landscape photoshoot in North Devon, a couple of waterfalls came as part of the package. Perhaps not the most stunning of examples but never the less, an opportunity to have play with settings.

As my previous two postings have involved messages and language, it seems appropriate to continue along a similar vein by bringing in interpretation.
Interpretation of a presented scene is usually left in the hands of the photographer although it should be considered that there are also schools of thought as well as the usual fashions or fads, and copy-cat offerings.

It has long been recognised practice that interpretation of waterfalls should be so that they are portrayed as silky trails, achieved by using a slow shutter speed. Granted, the effect can be quite stunning when used in the right situation. However, it is all too often used as the only interpretation and that is why I decided to put the style to the test.

Below are two examples. Slow speed to make the water silky. Faster speed to start to freeze the water. Faster again would reveal every individual droplet of water.

The question is, which do I prefer?
Well, amongst other questions, I must first ask, which style is appropriate to the location; does it portray the waterfall as I see it; do I want dreamy or do I want sharp and fresh?

So, prefer doesn't really come into it. Interpretation really is down to the individual photographer, individual viewer or individual location. I know which approach worked better in this situation and I actually know which approach I would normally start with... do you interpret it?

1/4 sec. f22. ISO 100

1/200 sec. f8. ISO 400

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