In order to freeze the motion of water you simply shoot at a higher shutter speed. To gain high shutter speeds, you need to have a more wide-open aperture. Where in yesterday’s waterfall shot, the picture was composed so the water created a soft blur (veiled in artist’s speak), today, I wanted to create a clear-water shot and maybe catch some drops or splashes of water in mid-air. With three lion-dogs spread out across the frame, I chose an aperture of f/11 in order to have focus on all three spouts of falling water.

Photo by Michael Lynch

Photo by Michael Lynch

My shutter speed was 1/320 seconds. To achieve that shutter speed in a shaded scene, required boosting my ISOs up to 800. It would have been possible to make this shot at a much more wide-open aperture, like f/6.3 but it would have resulted in loosing some sharpness in the scene. I wanted to have the people in the background out of focus, but not the child, water and wall of spouting lions. Basically, I’ve covered two simple ways to treat flowing water scenes, depending on your desired end result: High shutter speed freezes the motion for a more clear effect; slow shutter speed creates a misty scene. Why would a photographer want to blur the people in the background? That’s something I’ll discuss farther down the line. It concerns legal issues. Had the child playing with the falling water been looking at my camera and smiling, I wouldn’t post his picture here unless I had obtained a signature from one of his parents. For my next post I think I’ll do some wildlife; they don’t care where you send their pictures. Until then, Happy Hunting!

mikelynch200A wildlife photographer livning in Okinawa, Japan, Mike has been featured in Matador Abroad and is published in Apogee Photo Magazine, Boots N all, The Nihon Sun and Photo Guide Japan. He has recently joined the ranks of travel writers, capturing Nature, Festivals, Castles and Cultural shots of the Ryukyu Islands to share with the world.