Stepping Down 130 Feet

Not well known but probably the most beautiful waterfalls on West Coast (Burney Falls).

What technical feedback would you like if any?

This is the first time I used ND variable filter. Took multiple exposures rotating the filter. This seems to be the most balanced (0.3 sec). Any insight on ND is appreciated.

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

(If this is a composite, etc. please be honest with your techniques to help others learn)
Canon 5D iv, 100 ISO, 38 mm, f/16, 0.3 sec.

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Right in my backyard! It is a beautiful falls. I rather like your version here. The water contrasts well with the vegetation, and we can clearly see all the little subsidiary falls where the water comes out of the rock below the main falls. I don’t have any words of wisdom for using an ND filter. If I’m using one, I just fool around with it, seeing what pops out (or doesn’t, as the case may be).

I love Burney Falls. Only been there a couple of times but wow is it beautiful. This is a great take on most of the falls and I love the texture you achieved with the water. Did you happen to walk down the trail to pool of water and the outlet stream? If not, there are some wonderful views from down below looking up the stream into the falls but there are usually some people there as well. Also, I’ve heard that this is a nice fall shooting location. Maybe @Bonnie_Lampley knows since this is in her backyard. As for your question on ND filters, usually somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2 of a second is enough to give water some blur but also retain some texture which you’ve done here nicely. More than a couple of seconds tends to turn water milk smooth with virtually no texture. I generally experiment with lots fo different exposures so that when I get home and download on the computer I can pick the one I like the most. That’s my 2 cents worth. :slight_smile:

@Bonnie_Lampley, @David_Haynes, thank you for your insight! Did walk down and took many pictures from there. Still working on them realizing that I needed a different lens to capture delicate intricacy of those mini waterfalls. Definitely will go back and will be prepared some day.

This is a beautiful waterfall, and I seem to remember someone (Bonnie?) posting a great autumn color image from here. I think one should think of waterfalls as being more about shutter speed than about ND filters, which are merely a tool that gets you to a desired shutter speed. @David_Haynes has already given you some great advice on shutter speeds that create blur while retaining texture. The 1/4 second to 1/2 second is usually a great starting point on overcast days, but it depends on the light in the scene. ND’s are very helpful when shooting waterfalls that are in direct sun, since they can get you long exposures to blur water even in sunny conditions.

The other thing I do is bracket different exposures of the waterfall, and blend them together in Photoshop using layers. This lets you get a good exposure in both the surrounding landscape, and an exposure that creates a pleasing balance of blur/texture in the water. for example in your image the surrounding land looks slightly underexposed, and the two main falls are on the verge of being too bright. Blending multiple exposures lets you get a better balance in this regard. And sometimes the rate of water flow can be different in various parts of the falls, so you can blend in what shutter speed looks looks best for different parts of the falls.

@Ed_McGuirk, it is a very good point on blending exposures. I re-processed the image to blend 2 exposures. I do see the difference!
Thank you!

Glad to be of help. This can be a great technique to get more control over the look of waterfall images.