Silvermine Waterfall

Silvermine Waterfall after a lot of rain

Silvermine Waterfall after a lot of rain
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4 Comments | Report
EMTME22 September 21, 2016
robmousley September 23, 2016
Thank you!
brianthelion September 21, 2016
This is a lovely point of view and an excellent choice of exposure. You have shown the motion while maintaining the detail. Nice job
robmousley September 23, 2016
Thanks Brian! I'm keen to go back and try again now that I know a little more about it!
VisionOfShadePhotography Platinum
VisionOfShadePhotography March 05, 2017
Amazing Photograph....
Alwolfe Premium
Alwolfe August 15, 2017
Almost magical!

Behind The Lens

This waterfall is located in the Silvermine Nature Reserve, near Cape Town, South Africa. We have a temperate climate and have most rainfall in winter; this was shot in mid-winter when the river was full.
The image was captured at 3 o'clock in the afternoon; the waterfall is west facing and there was no direct sunlight on the scene.
I wanted to slow the shutter speed right down, so I used an ND-8 neutral density filter to restrict the amount of light entering the camera. I was experimenting with various speed settings so I was setting the speed and let the camera adjust the f stop. This image ended up at ISO 100, f/11 and 1.3 seconds.
My camera is a Nikon D7100 and I was using the 18-200mm Nikkor kit lens with an ND-8 ND filter attached. The setup was mounted on a tripod, fairly close to the ground. Two of the most important bits of equipment on this shoot were the lens cap (which I quickly put back on after every shot) and a lint free absorbent cloth which I kept using to wipe the camera and lens. There was lots of spray and moisture in the air.
This waterfall is particularly beautiful and it's close to home. It only flows like this when it's been raining heavily and the vegetation is not always so pretty - so I try to visit the site often and I experiment with settings and locations; there's actually a series of waterfalls that begins with the main fall shown here. This was the first waterfall that I used to experiment when I was learning photography so it has a special place in my heart!
I used lightroom to post-process, but I really didn't do much to the image. The water in the original was slightly over-exposed so I boosted the shadows slightly while bringing down the highlights. I boosted the exposure slightly along with the vibrance and saturation to bring up the rocks and vegetation. But really, the post-processing turned out to be almost negligible.
In my camera bag
I use the Lowepro Flipside 400AW backpack and love it. My default lens is the 18-200mm because it's so versatile but I carry a Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 wide-angle lens as well as the Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3 which is a great lens for shooting wildlife that's a little further away. A lens that isn't in my bag, but which I take whenever I possibly can is the Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6 which I love to use for shooting wildlife. Interestingly I have found it fun to use for macro subjects too! So if you get bored waiting for a bird, look out for insects nearby - you can get pretty good results using the lens at 500mm!
An ND filter is your friend. Visit your waterfall at a time of day when there's no direct sunlight - and definitely avoid times when there are shadows. Take a towel and an absorbent, lint-free cloth to wipe your camera and lens. You may want to rig up a cover out of clear plastic taped to your camera to avoid it getting wet. Look for something in the foreground to achieve a 3D look to your image and slow the exposure speed down just enough that you still get some texture in the water. 1-2sec is often good. But experiment with speed - sometimes slowing it down even more can give you a different, milky kind of look. Be careful! Where there's water, there are slippery rocks! Have fun!

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