(Jo McAvany photo)

Making Pictures With Professional Photographer John Enman

Waterfalls: Slow the water with long exposures

I haven’t had time to pick up my camera since my quick trip to the pond for the photos of the geese last week.

Tearing down the old deck from the back of my house, removing a wood fence, cutting trees down and cleaning up the back acreage so a construction company can start the addition I am having built has taken up my days and reduced my energy.

My friend Jo McAvany sent me a text last week telling me she and her friend Edith were going to the waterfalls to do some photos. Tonight when I stopped by to see some of her photographs I decided since I didn’t have any new shots to post, and was struggling with a topic for my weekly article that I would write about Jo’s photos.

When she told me she was going to the falls I didn’t think she would be able to get many pictures. The June thaw usually includes fast angry water coming over the falls with spray that soaks everything and anyone that gets close enough to see what’s happening. But this time the water was lower (maybe the thaw hasn’t started up Chase Creek yet) and the sunny day with no other visitors made for a good day for Edith to scramble over the rocks and through the water to pose and even make a couple wardrobe changes.

Jo was switching between 24-70mm and 16-35mm lenses for most of her shots. (I think she may have also brought a 70-200mm) Her goal was to slow the water down, and when I looked at the info on the two photographs she gave me for this article I saw that one shot was 1/320th of a second at F4, and the other was 1/30th of a second at F11.

I knew she would be trying for longer exposures to slow the water down, and even though one of them she gave me was 1/320th I expect most of her exposures may have been around 1/30th of a second. She didn’t bring a tripod, but would have been able to rest against the large creek valley’s rocks to reduce camera shake.

Jo gave me two RAW files and I took the liberty to manipulate them a bit adding contrast, selectively sharpening rocks, softening and toning down skin highlights and converting the images to black and white. The programs I used were ON1, NIK and Luminar.

Locations like Chase Falls are great for creative photographs with a willing subject.

One gets to combine landscape and portraiture, and for those of us that haven’t had our second vaccine poke yet, it’s easy to social distance at a waterfall. I think the only problem for Edith, other than being careful of slippery wet rocks, was being able to hear posing instructions with the loud crashing water. Nevertheless, it’s an imaginative and refreshing location to spend a few hours doing photography.

Stay safe and be creative. These are my thoughts for this week. Contact me at www.enmanscamera.com or emcam@telus.net.

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