3 days ago
For this shot, I envisioned a very smooth water surface all around this submerged log to help simplify the scene and to really draw attention to the turquoise color of the water. To do this, I used a polarizer (to remove glare) and then stacked a 3-stop ND on top of it. This allowed me to get around a 2.5sec exposure, which was enough to smooth out the foreground water but without overly diminishing the soft water detail in the background falls. However, a problem that you'll often have with long exposures near waterfalls is that the vegetation will often move in the wind. This is not noticeable on Instagram sized photos, but it's definitely noticeable on larger prints! In this image, the mid-ground ferns were moving in a slight breeze coming off the falls. To combat this, I raised the ISO by several stops and took another shot at a much faster shutter speed. This was enough to stop the motion in the ferns. I then took the original long exposure and masked in the ferns from the shorter exposure using a simple layer mask in Photoshop.