The key word is long exposure. Take a tripod and ND filters with you and the result will be totally different than handheld shots. ND (neutral density) filters are dark filters which reduce the intensity of the light. So you are able to shoot with much longer exposure times to create a magical look.
During our photo tours we will explain on location how this can work.
More info: joanaimages.com
Capturing the movement
If you want to capture the movement of the waves but have it still soft and smooth – try to expose between 0,5 and 1,5 seconds. Shorter exposure times will only show “normal” waves while longer exposure times will blur the whole water.
Try exposure times of 3-8 seconds. This will make look your waterfall smooth, full and silky, but without being too blurred. You will still see the texture of the streams.
Let the crowds disappear
A real challenge is to shoot in a big city with hundreds of people running around and disturbing your composition. Try to play with long exposures. Depending on the effect you want – you may only blur them and let the main subject be still sharp (0,5 -1 second) or you can even make them disappear and you may see only here and there ghostly figures (30 seconds or more, depending how fast people are moving).
Long exposure makes even a wavy sea smooth and silky looking and you get reflections you would never get without the long exposure. As longer you expose, as smoother the sea will look. Try and play with exposure times between 20 and 30 seconds or even use the bulb function and expose 2 minutes.
Using long exposure times will make your photo look magical, almost surreal. Real long exposures of 30 seconds and longer will make rocks in the water look like floating in the sea.
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