Welcome to the first of our weekly Q&A sessions. Every week I’m going to pick some questions to answer from The Creative Photo community. I’m either going to answer them in a blog post, a video, or an audio clip. You can submit your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
So let’s get started!!
#1. Demario in Minneapolis asked, “How do people make the water look full or “milky” in their pictures?”
That is a great question! It’s so much fun to do!
When you want to get the water to look milky and smooth, you’re going to need a couple of things. First of all, The early morning light is usually the best light to get amazing waterfall photos.
Next, a tripod. Your camera is going to need to be pretty stable to make this work so this is where a tripod comes in handy. The rest of your scene needs to be perfectly still so that it looks like you smoothed the water out on purpose nd didn’t just have a blurry photo.
You’re going to need a heavy duty one. Especially if you’re going to be getting knee deep in that water. Here is a link to some Heavy Duty Tripods.
Okay, next you might want to consider a shutter release or a remote shutter. I recommend this one for Nikon users because you can also use it for timelapse. The reason for this is to make sure that you don’t shake the camera when pressing down on the shutter button. Also, you can time your shots and do them in intervals as well.
And that’s it. (well besides your DSLR)
So here is what you’ll want to do. Work out your composition. Get your camera set up on the tripod and the remote shutter set up. Now you have a few options. Basically what we are focusing on is the shutter speed. The slower the shutter speed the milkier it will look.
You also want to have a good depth of field so make sure you’re aperture is not too wide open. f16 is usually a good start for getting everything in focus. Set your shutter speed to 1.0 or higher and see how it comes up and adjust your exposure from there. If you want it more smooth, slow down your shutter, if you want it less smooth, speed up your shutter. Just don’t forget to adjust for exposure. That’s really it.
Here are a couple of examples.
#2. Eric From Detroit asked, “Why does my $600 camera take terrible grainy blurry photos when I shoot on auto”?
Thank you for your question! The reason you’re photos are coming out grainy is because you’re letting the camera do all the work for you. When you are in auto, and you’re shooting in low light, your camera is saying, “it’s too dark in here let as much light in as possible, so it brings up the ISO. To learn more about the exposure triangle and ISO check out Lesson 1 of the Beginner’s photography course. IT walks you through each point of the exposure triangle, in very simple terms.
Now, my advice would be to read that article and switch to manual mode. This way you have full control over your settings and can adjust the ISO so that it doesn’t get so high. When shooting in low light situations, you may come across a little grain, but just a little is easy to correct in post-processing.
If you don’t want to switch to Manual, check your camera settings. There may be a way to set a limit to how high your ISO can go. This way your camera will never go above a certain ISO. It will just adjust your other settings accordingly. Adding more light always helps to. Turn on all the lamps, open the windows. Whatever you can do to let in as much light as possible. This may help keep your ISO down.
#3. John from Milledgeville, GA asked What’s the best and easiest way to get depth of field. Do I need a special lens?
Oh the old Depth Of Field. I’m assuming you’re asking about getting a blurry background. But I’m going to explain both. You do not need a special lens to achieve depth of field on a dslr. However, certain lenses do open wider than others, and can create a more beautiful blur in the background.
Your aperture controls the depth of field. The more narrow the aperture (bigger the number) The deeper the depth of field you have. The wider the aperture (Smaller the number) The more shallow your depth of field will be. For example, the minions above are not all in focus. This is because my aperture was wide open at f3.5
Check out this article for more in-depth ( no pun intended) detail on aperture.
#4. Marcus in California, asked, “What’s the best camera”
This is an easy one. The best camera is the one you have in your hands.
You can create beautiful photos out of any camera you have handy. Just learn the basics of the exposure triangle, lighting, and composition. Check out this article to get you started. If you feel like you are ready to purchase your dslr take a look at this article on how to choose your first dslr.
Tha’ts all the questions I have for this week. Please submit your questions to email@example.com and I will post the Q&A up every saturday.
Thank you so much for stopping by and please leave your feedback below. I’d love to hear from you!