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.

A night at the Oktoberfest

I had once promised that I would write more about photography and now finally the time has come! I would like to share my learning with my Canon 550D. In this post I will just talk about my shots from the Oktoberfest, where I tried to shoot different rides in the evening, when the rides were brightly lit.

Auf gehts…

Frisbee

Frisbee

The picture I want to talk about is the shot of a ride called ‘Frisbee’, one of the most popular rides at the fest. It has a big circular disc which can rotate on its axis and also swings like a pendulum. Since I wanted to capture the colorful light, I had to reduce my shutter speed to 4 secs. Shutter speed basically tells me how much light goes into my camera. Longer the time, more light goes into my camera and for so long my lens will be open to capture all the information. I could have captured the same at may be 2 secs shutter speed but then I could not have captured the rotation motion of the disc. At this point i also took care that my shutter speed is not too long, which would distort the whole picture by letting in more light and also because of the fast movement of the disc. So, I chose the shutter speed which was good enough just to capture the movement and also its the approximate time that the disc stays at its topmost position before changing its direction. Now that we have set our shutter speed, it is also important to adjust our focal stop. In technical terms, the focal stop or f-stop is the ratio of focal length of the lens to the aperture size. In other words it affects the light gathering area and helps to make our subject distinct from the background. Since I did not require any distinction between my subject and the background and I also wanted to reduce the amount of light going into my camera without changing my shutter speed, I had to increase the f-stop to f/22. As I could capture the image I wanted with these settings, I kept my ISO at 100. These three main settings play major role in photography, shutter speed, focal stop and the ISO.

Last but not least, I want to quickly talk about the lens I used to take the shots. Since it was very crowded and I did not have the kind of place I needed to capture the entire ride in my frame, I used my wide angle lens. All the pictures here are taken from my Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC lens and according to me it does a pretty good job.

Few more basic but important suggestions:

1. Most of the night photos might require post processing and hence I would suggest taking the shots in RAW format.

2. Always use tripod for night photography.

3. Try experimenting with different settings. The photos which might look good on the camera LCD screen might always not look good on the computer screen.

Enjoy the rest of the pictures and let me know what you think about them. Pour in your comments or suggestions down below.

Chairoplane

Chairoplane

The Tower

The Tower

Riesenrad

Riesenrad

Frisbee again!

Frisbee again!

Carousel for children :)

Carousel for children 🙂

Riesenrad - Ready...Get set...Go...

Riesenrad – Ready…Get set…Go…