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November 14, 2017

Changing Seasons

Bobbi Petherick

Living in Pennsylvania in the fall is great. The days are cooler and the trees have beautiful fall colors. You have to take advantage of the hours in the day, as it does get dark really early. That’s exactly what Zach Heaton, Toby (our awesome dog) and I did. We joined the family for a weekend camping trip in the mountains.

Once we arrived, we decided to go for a hike. We had never been to this place before, so it’s always fun exploring. You never know what you will find. We came across this waterfall, so we took a few moments to capture its beauty.

Naturally, I wanted to get into the water to change my angle, but I was 7 months pregnant and decided standing on the side was best for me. I had to work with the angle that I had. This happens from time to time. Being adaptable and willing to work with the conditions and situation given, will give you a chance to grow as a photographer and challenge yourself.

I decided to photograph this waterfall using 2 filters. I wanted to show the difference in the filters. Giving you a chance to see that depending on the tools you have in your bag, you can make it work.  I also wanted to show you the difference shooting the same subject in the same lighting conditions.

These images were taken around 10am, and the sun was up giving lots off light and highlights on the area. Not the most ideal time of day to take photos of a waterfall. In this situation, it’s a great chance to focus on learning technique including using the tools you have in your bag.

As you scroll through each image, notice the different tones, textures and depths.

No Filter
.6 sec @ F16
Focal Length 160mm
ISO 64

HD3 Circular HRT Polarizer
3.0 @ F16
Focal Length 160mm
ISO 64
The polarizer is one of my favorite filters, as its versatile in a variety of conditions, easy to use, and allows for creativity. When photographing water, I really enjoy smooth water, and giving you that sense of calmness. This polarizer smooths the water and limits the distractions in the water and intensifies the colors on the rock by limiting the reflections. By turning the polarizer any glare or change the reflection in the water. The different effects are controlled by how far you rotate the filter. I am very happy with the results of using this polarizer in mid morning light.

Solas IRND Neutral Density
30 seconds @ F16
Focal Length 160mm
ISO 64
This filter is always in my bag, and this is the reason. The ND filter reduces the amount of light entering your camera.

In ideal conditions, (including the time of day) I would could capture the water fall with the polarizer and be very happy with my results. But it was not the ideal time of day, ( I prefer early morning or late evening, with clouds). This filter allows for creativity with a 30 second exposure, smoothing the water and limiting the distractions of the other objects in the image. The colors have more depth and tone, and the eye focuses directly to the main subject, the cascading waterfall.

My best advice, if you love capturing waterfalls, carry both filters in your bag. Both of these filters are light, easy to clean, don’t take up a lot of space, and easy to use.
When using a filter, have fun! Get creative, explore all your options, challenge yourself, and you’ll be happy you did.

~ Bobbi Petherick