June 18, 2010

Playing with Slow Shutter Speeds

JD and I truly enjoyed hiking in and around Johnson Canyon.  Within the canyon, there are many waterfalls and a lot of fast moving water—a great time to play with slow shutter speeds.  For many of my photos, I used my Sing Ray variable neutral density filter.  The filter allows you to adjust the you exposure anywhere from 2 to 8 stops.  The filter is great for capturing moving water.
In this photo, I wanted to capture the water flow and the reflective light on the rocks.
Camera settings:  Nikon D3, Nikon 28mm f/2.8 shot at ISO 200, f/13 and 8 second with Sing Ray variable neutral density filter attached.
Post Processing:  
Lightroom—Set black and white points, added clarity and mid-tone contrast.
Photoshop—used nik Color Efex Pro to add contrast to various parts of the photo. 


  1. Great contrast between the softness of the water and the hardness of the rock, plus the contrasting colors. I like the photo however you might consider cropping some of the rock on the left side.

  2. Beautiful image. Love the softness of the water. It makes me want to visit Johnson Canyon.

  3. Super image but I agree with Mel. A little less rock would help it.

  4. I think the shot would have been a little better if the water blur was less. As it is, it seems to soften the image a little too much.
    The Professor

  5. Great shot Larry. If you change it I'm calling the cops! :)

  6. Not too bad.
    Charles M

  7. Pleasant photo that I can see hanging in my home but I wished that the water was not so blurred. A little detail in the water would probably make the photo more realistic.

  8. Nice photo. I like the reflection of the light on the rocks.


  9. Really beautiful. I like the blur of the water (of course!) and the way the light is bouncing around off the facets of the rock --- that adds so much texture and interest. The overall tones are gorgeous too, with such rich color. This image has a lot of depth and draws the eye from the round rock in the background that is surrounded by the water all the way to the front of the image where the splash is. I do see where Mel is coming from about cropping the rock, but I think she meant on the right of the image. I do like the rock there, but there may be a bit too much of it and if you crop to the 4 by 5 dimension as you usually do, the line of the water becomes more of a diagonal across the whole image. I bet this would be beautiful printed.

  10. I can see a case for keeping it like it is or one for going to a 4:5 format. I actually think it would have more impact as a square if you were to crop it at all. The crop if done, as noted by Cindi, should come from the right side not the left.

    I like the soft blur myself, but again can see a case for a little less of it to show more water action, in particular; as the water comes down and over the rocks.

    With that said, I still like this shot as is. Nice job.

  11. Ok, rocks or less rocks. The more I looked at the rocks the more faces I started seeing in the formation. (I guess my grandson's transformers are starting to get to me). I like your capture as is...nice job with the Sing Ray.

  12. Beautiful shot! Great composition! The use of the slow shutter speed to smooth out the water makes the shot!

    Well done!