I have recently hinted that Malcolm and I will be leaving for a fifteen day road trip in about a month. We are heading north, with Rhode Island being our furthermost destination. My goal is to visit and photograph as many waterfalls as possible along the route.
After a lot of research, I decided to upgrade my camera and have settled on a Panasonic DC g9. I also purchased a new ‘walkabout,’ or multipurpose lens (14-140) which will allow me to leave behind a few lenses that I don’t want to carry. Both items arrived last week, and as with any new equipment, there is a learning curve. I decided I should practice as much as possible before we get on the road. Most of my practice time has been spent shooting the manmade waterfall in my neighborhood at different times of day and in different camera modes.
Malcolm and I have different opinions about how to photograph a waterfall. He likes natural, falling water and I like the smooth effect created by slowing down the shutter speed.
The photo on the left was taken in Aperture priority at a fast shutter speed, while the one on the right was taken in Shutter priority with a slow shutter speed. I mounted the camera on a tripod for both photographs. A tripod isn’t necessary when shooting at fast shutter speeds, as normal camera shake won’t disturb the image, but it is absolutely necessary when shooting at a slow shutter speed. Slide back and forth between the two and tell me if you have a preference.
Conditions were not ideal on the day I took the photos above, (direct sunlight) and these images are both awash with light and filled with shadows. I had to tone down the brightness in some areas and enhance it in others. Correcting light can be done in a variety of ways when shooting in Shutter Mode, including adjusting ISO, and using the exposure compensation button on the camera. Or, you can do as I have in these and adjust it during post processing. I used NIK to pinpoint where I wanted to brighten the shadows and where I wanted to darken over-exposed areas. In the photo on the right, I also added a little structure and color to the rocks at the bottom of the waterfalls for extra contrast.
Whether you shoot with a phone camera or a DSLR, there is a never-ending learning curve to photography. For me, that is the thing that makes this hobby so satisfying. The goal is always forward progress, not perfection.
Retirement is like that too. This is the time of life to make new discoveries, go at a comfortable pace and celebrate small accomplishments. What about you? Have you found a hobby that holds your interest and brightens your day? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.
I went back to the waterfall on a cloudy day and got this shot. I think I’m getting closer to figuring things out.
The square photos and ‘bright theme’ were inspired by Becky’s Bright Squares challenge. There were lots of things going on in our lives this week, and if we were having coffee, I’d tell you everything. Maybe next week I’ll brew a pot and spill. Until then, have a beautiful week and enjoy my practice photographs.
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