Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for August 14th, 2014

Electricity from water, no turbine needed

with 48 comments

Several times here in the past three years you’ve seen photographs showing bubbles in creeks. In all those cases either the water and bubbles were fairly static or if the water rushed by and produced rapidly changing bubbles I used a high shutter speed to freeze much of the action. In comments on a few of those photographs several people asked if I ever use a slow shutter speed to produce “cottony” water, as many nature photographers do (you can see a couple of samples from Pairodox and SGG Photo).

I haven’t gone for quite that cottony look, but on July 24th I visited a local waterfall after some recent rain and I experimented with longer-than-usual exposures. Here’s a photograph in which the shutter speed of 1/16 sec. wasn’t nearly long enough to produce any cotton but did turn the brightly flowing water into sparks of electricity or crazy neon lights, take your pick. May this jolt of abstraction get you off to an energetic start today, at least if you’re in the Western Hemisphere. If you’re in Australia or New Zealand, I hope this won’t keep you awake tonight.

Sparkling Creek Water Flowing, Long Exposure 9578

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 14, 2014 at 8:01 AM

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