Photographing Flowing Water

A small creek flows past the fallen leaves and stark branches in western Montana during early November.

Photographing water can be a challenge when the water is in a location where it is shady and the sky is full of clouds.  The image here was created after moving very slowly and carefully down an incline of large rocks.  The rain was threatening and I did not want to try getting out of there by walking on slick rocks of water.  I looked over the area several minutes and from several low angles before deciding how to best photograph this flowing stream of water.

I did not use a tripod, as the one I have doesn’t have adjustable legs to flex out in many different directions.  Instead I held my DSLR steady on my knee and composed the photo very carefully.  The settings on the camera were manual (ISO 200, 1/6 shutter speed, no flash, F27, and the aperature was 9.5).  The slower shutter speed helped give the water that silky look and feel that is preferred than the natural look of water flowing.  The leaves and branches add to the overall mood of the image, that fall is winding down and washing away with the water.  The image is a classic one and has already received many positive comments from those who have viewed it.

Would you have used a flash for this image?  Would a portrait orientation make the image better?  What filters would you have used if you had taken the image?  Does threatening stormy weather cause you to work faster to compose and create images?  What tripod would be best to create this image?  Can this image look just as good in black and white?

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About Douglas Wilks Photography

I am an advanced photographer who lives in western Montana. I create a variety of strong images using a DSLR, computer, and digital software. I am available for hire for full time, part time, or projects. Most of my images are of landscapes, still life, and events. I am always looking to improve my skills, network of friends and professionals, and portfolio. I look forward to creating new friends, contacts, and others who are interested in photography.
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