Plitvice Waterfalls

After my last post on the Oktoberfest rides, it’s now time to capture nature in my frame. In this post on photography I would like to talk about one of my shots that I took at the Plitvice National Park in Croatia.

The technique used to capture the wonderful waterfalls at Plitvice is very similar to the night shots taken at the Oktoberfest. But the end results are different and the viewer is left with an altogether different experience.

Like anyone else, when I started photography I was not aware that different camera settings that can ignite the creative thinking of the photographer and as well as that of the viewer. Ever wondered while looking at a beautiful waterfall picture, poster or a postcard whether it is photography or someone has graphically modified the picture?

Till today I captured waterfalls and water movement in a totally different way. I was trying to capture the movement of each and every water molecule thereby getting an entirely different effect. The fact that you can capture the water particles flying in the air gave me some kind of happiness 🙂 Then, a friend of mine asked me to try taking pictures with long exposures, well thats how usually a waterfall or the movement of water is shown? So, finally I got an opportunity to capture these amazing waterfalls at Plitvice.

Before I start with the details, let me quickly tell you what are the necessary things one should carry to take such kind of shots;

  1. As with the night photography, a tripod is a must and taking the pictures in RAW format is highly recommended.
  2. A wide angle lens is more sensible to carry than a speed lens.
  3. The composition of the frame is very important. Sometimes just the waterfall and at other times the waterfall along with different coloured leaves would look good. One should have a feel for it and understand what looks better.
Plitvice Waterfall

Plitvice Waterfall

Now with respect to the shot, I would like to share a few technical points. This particular picture is one of my favourites among the lot I took at Plitvice simply for its composition. This particular picture was shot at 24mm and ISO 100 with shutter speed of 3.2 secs and aperture size of f/25. The lens I used was standard 18-55mm canon kit lens.

As I mentioned before the composition of the frame is important. Here, I tried capturing only the waterfall at first but it didn’t depict the beauty of the place. It looked very artificial and please note this is only with respect to this shot. So I tried to include the wooden walking path in the frame and it gave a total altogether touch to the shot. So, one has to work and find out what looks best for that particular frame. Coming to the next point which is shutter speed. Having long shutter speed is the main reason to get that foggy effect of the water movement. What basically happens is that by having longer shutter speed, the lens opens for longer time and captures all the information during that time tracking the movement of each molecule. Hence the movement of water appears like fog in the picture.

Again, one has to be careful here not to overdo the exposure as it might look very artificial or may be we will allow more light in the lens than what is actually required and we might end up with over exposed picture. The last parameter what should be controlled is the aperture size. I kept the aperture size at max which was at f/25. I worked from backwards for most of my shots. What I mean is, I had to set the aperture size first or set it to max since it was a sunny day and then alter the shutter speed accordingly to adjust the light entering my camera.

The rest of the photos can be found here… Pavan Kumar Photography

Feedback and suggestions are welcome. If you have any specific question then please leave it under comment and I’ll try to answer them.