Monday, September 22, 2008

HOW TO PHOTOGRAPH CRASHING WAVES

Ramsey Beach
Mooragh Promenade
Irish sea

For a change not a reflection shot on mirror like water. Don't cry they will be back. No they're just way to easy. If the water isn't moving you can get away with auto (if you don't mind a slightly bleached out look) as you don't have to alter the speed setting. For majestic crashing waves or for those silky ribbons of mist shots you need to switch to manual. Oh you knew I was going to say that didn't you. The shot might be abstract but the text is consistently mundane.

All you want to do if freeze the action. Now there are several ways to go about this, and one cheat. See if you have a sport mode on your camera. Usually a little man(not being sexist but it's always a little man) running or jumping. Try that mode first. It's a semi auto mode so it will set all your white balances for you. If it's gently crashing water, slow moving this is a great way to freeze the droplets as they are falling. Try it. If you still get a blur then tough luck, it's a manual you need as the sport mode is still to slow for the movement of the water. So no good for this image.

For this shot it was manual. As it was around noon on a sunny day the ISO was 100. The lower the ISO the sharper the image. To freeze the action of the droplets and keep the fluidity of incoming wave a speed of 800 was used A.3. Again fiddle around until you are happy with the setting as each wave will be a different speed. If I had wanted to have the droplets merge into one, those continuous silky water shots that have become fashionable(but not for me) then a tripod is recommended and a remote control. The speed would be altered the other way, ultra low into the minus section and possibly up the ISO to 200 just to have some extra light to counteract you merging the white with the green. Simple eh!

Lesson over. So many emails now that I think it's just simpler to do something like this once a week with an image on a frequently asked question. Actually I'm not the world's best photography teacher, I'm like er you just em' get the camera and er point it at the thingy you want to photograph. Now that's a bit crap really so I will do my best to be sensible, but honestly best advice practise, practise, practise and don't be frightened of your camera. You own it not the other way round.

Remember. You don't make mistakes then you aren't taking photos.

Go on then give me your best shot. I mean image not punch!

48 comments:

George Townboy said...

Beautiful shot and great lesson ... just what I've come to expect. Thanks!!

I think I'll head to the beach this weekend.

Julie said...

I have taken the first tenuous steps: I have it on M and am fiddling with ISO and F stops. Now I have lost the clarity of the image and the colour which is splodgy red/green. But I am determined to persevere! I read what you and others say and my head goes into a spin. The only way for me, is to go out and continually stuff up but to make miniscule progress whilst doing so.

Taa for this sort of kick up the backside ...

Virginia said...

Send me in coach! I swear after reading one of "Babooshka's How To's" I think I can photograph the world! Then I go out there and screw up again. Julie, let me give you some sound advice. When you go from the green box ( the Automatic on my camera) to the big M ( Manual - the spawn of satan) , your photographs will tank for a while. I was in tears a month or so ago because I felt like I was going backwards intead of showing any improvement . B's right. It's all about the practice. And with digital noone needs to know how many go in the little silver trashcan on my dock!

Thanks B for the great lessons given with such a common sense , non uppity photographer language.

And remember, "If you can do it drunk, I can too!":)

marley said...

Spooky...I've got a waterfall photo today! I used the sport mode and I think it turned out ok. Though if I had been brave and tried manual settings it might have been brilliant!

Thanks for the top tips :)

brad, boston said...

LB,

I have a running guy. I will check him out. Still getting out of focus on some shots. Will keep on. LB.

mannanan said...

You know something this blog just gets better and better. Not only great photography but the instructions on how to do it. Thanks for yet another great tip. Very much appreciated.

magiceye said...

love this capture!
thank you so much for the wonderful tips as always!

Dusty Lens said...

Time and place for everything. It depends on the mood of the photo wheather the water should be silky or stopped in action. Although I perfer water shots like what you've done here, I 'm interested in long exposure times and how that manipulates moving water.

Thanks tfor the tips, we'll learn photography together.

Webradio said...

Bonjour Baboohska !
Belle photo et bonne leçon...
Tu es une bonne professeur pour les photos.
Pour mer d'irlande ???
J'aime l'Irlande, moi...
A plus tard.
----------------------
Baboohska Hello !
Nice picture and good lesson...
You're a good teacher for the photos.
Why the Irish Sea ?
I love Ireland, me...
See you later.

Baruch said...

Awesome shot ... and thanks for the great lesson :)

Kris said...

My ratio of photos taken to photos I like is around 68 to 1.

Waves (a long-time favourite subject), blow those equations out even further. It’s a darn good thing I like sitting by the water!

raf said...

As always, Baboosh, thanks for your very helpful advice for we amateurs. After employing some of your tips with success, I mean to mention them specifically to you, but lose track. Maybe the wave action techniques will stick.:)

Olivier said...

tout le monde a déjà tout dit, alors je ne vais que répéter, superbe photo et bonne explication, tout simplement bravissimo.

everyone has already said everything, then I can only repeat, superb picture and sound explanation. simply bravissimo.

evlahos said...

thank you for the lesson. i need this info

Lynette said...

Your shot across the grass inspired my photo today. I was sitting on the sidewalk leaning on a light pole, though, because I wasn't sure I could get up without some sort of mechanical help when I took this in early September at a park--I'm not as spry as I once was now that I'm nearing 61.

valeria said...

Wow! But one 's got to have a good good camera, I don't think I could achieve this with my poor Cybershot 5.1.... Could I?
Thank you for the lesson anyway, I find them really interesting. And thank you for visiting Verona DP!

Mo said...

That wave is magical. What amazing colours. You had to be in the ocean to take this. Yet no spray on the lens! Fabulous.

Carraol said...

Beautiful greens and lights of this one! And thanks for your tips. Cheers.

Marie Reed said...

I think that a weekly little right lesson sounds like a brillant idea;) Stuffed email inboxes can be overwhelming!

david mcmahon said...

There's a wave of support!

JM said...

Fantastic wave shot! I'm very fond of this kind of water movement.

craig said...

I'm sure it's easier said than done but I will have a go. interesting mix
of images.

Shrinky said...

Talk about great timing - I'm just about to head off to take the mutt to Douglas beach (though I expect few crashing waves, it's one of our rare sunny, still days today, isn't it?).

That is an amazing photograph, and much appreciated advice. (Oh, and yes, congratulations on a mention in David's Post of the Day, too!)

Sandi McBride said...

There's something so romantic about crashing waves on shore...perhaps that is why I chose a Sailor to be my love 40 years ago the 15th of October! I still love the sailor, and I still the love the sea...rather preferred this one, lol!
Congrats on the mention from David for POTD...
Sandi

Steven (Cavite DP) said...

babooshka, believe it or not, your lessons are not just helpful but truly encouraging!

I love the photo! I love the greens! So...Irish^^

SteveN^^

Knoxville Girl said...

Thanks for the tech info, and lovely shot as usual. I have a sport setting on my auto that I haven't tried yet, but now it's on my to-do list. Also been messing with manual. No publishable shots yet, but lost of experimenting.

Kelly said...

Excellent advice! Thanks! Beautiful image!

Buck said...

My favourite camera is a completely manual Minolta SRT, from the mid 1960s. I have been using my wife's hand-me-down Nikon Coolpix 950 and still need to take about a million more shots before I can bridge the gap from 'manual-film' to 'manual-digital.'

Thanks for the photo and for the lesson - Manual is wonderful and electrons are cheap!

Harry Makertia said...

Thanks for the advice. I need it!

Silwy said...

Dear B,
thanks for the nice shot and educative lesson.......Our proverb..IF YOU WORK, YOU CAN MAKE MISTAKES......NO WORK, NO MISTAKES

Tanya said...

Amazing emerald green! Maybe one day your lessons will creep into my brain, I can hope!

Virtual Voyage said...

Will remember the 'sport' tip - used to use a manual SLR and changing to digital has been tricky!

JAMJARSUPERSTAR said...

Two things:

1.) Don't forget to do the meme!
2.) I have an award for you at JJS! Come on down! Lol...
Ciao

Scarlet xx

Zsolt72 said...

you just caught the right moment. Great shot!

MEDITERRANEAN KIWI said...

beautiful shot - love the colours

Bursa Daily Photo said...

hmmm. no chance of this with my poor little snapper. I have a manual camera but it runs on film so I must admit I've given up with it recently.

by the way what's the green? is there something in the water or did it just come out like that?

Bergson said...

Attention on your camera :-)

Eki Akhwan said...

This is a masterful picture, Babooshka. I love the details of the white splashing water and the green-bluish colours of the ocean. Thank you for sharing the tip. I don't live near the ocean, but I'd like to try it the next time I go to the beach.

I also like the composition and the tone of the monochrome shot of the alley you poster the day before.

CrazyCath said...

That is a lovely shot. I use the sport setting a lot. Also the "digital" setting. These are my favourites to work with.

Congrats on POTD! Well deserved girl.

Jay said...

I've taken an awful lot of pictures - I love photography - and get many good ones, a few stunning ones, and huge numbers of failures. But at least I'm taking pictures, right? And thank heavens for digital!

Thanks for the run-down on this one. ISO is something I haven't played with much, but I will have a go!

Per Stromsjo said...

Water will pick up any colour. Any idea why it turns green?

Sherry said...

Great tips, I'll have to go to the ocean and try them out..

abueloscrisytoño said...

Me gusto conocer tu blog.
Magnificas fotos.
Un saludo A.Cris

Hilda said...

Thank you for another wonderful lesson, Babooshka! I'm just catching up on blogs since I seem to have caught a bug too. Now you've made me want to find a fountain to try this out. LOL, make that, you're beginning to make me want to study photography. And all I really wanted to do was to blog. ;D

indicaspecies said...

Lovely photo, and great advice. Thank you.

Congrats on the mention at POTD.

Pat said...

you like briges, I love water shots. Thanks for the tips.

Thiên said...

Jane, I LOVE this shot. The water and color are both so lovely.

Babzy said...

Amazing Shot !

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