White Water

White Water

This was a typical bright sunny Utah day in Little Cottonwood Canyon. This bright day with the shade of the trees provided the challenge of trying to meter for both the bright section and the shady section. For this picture I decided to mainly meter for the shady section, and let the sunny section be a little bright (although I still chose somewhat of an in-between). In doing this I used a slower shutter speed which also gave me the soft white water look I wanted.

With shots of the water I almost always use a circular polarizing filter and this picture was no exception. Normally my main goal with the polarizing filter is to reduce the glare on the water. In this case I was using it both to reduce the water glare, and the glare on the rocks. Without the filter, many of the rocks had so much glare that they were clipping and lost all of their detail. Even with the polarizing filter there is still some clipping in this picture in bright sun areas of the water. Because the water was moving so fast, and I was going for nice, soft, white water in the picture anyways, the clipping isn’t as noticeable. The clipped areas are white, and the rest of the water is white also so, to me at least, it still looks natural.

Another filter that is useful for situations like this is a neutral density filter. These filters reduce the amount of light coming into the lens so a slower shutter speed can be used. A lot of people use these filters when they want a soft white water look, but it is too bright out to use a slow enough shutter. The filters come with different amounts of light reduction, giving you different options depending on what you are trying to achieve. Unfortunately I do not own a neutral density filter, and I haven’t used one, so I don’t have any recommendations for a good one. Getting one is on my wish list, so hopefully one day that will change!

White Water Information

  • Taken By: Paul
  • Date Taken: 6-JUL-2012
  • Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T1i
  • Lens: Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
  • Exposure: 1.3 sec at F/20
  • Focal Length: 37 mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Flash: Did not fire

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