I know you have all seen those beautiful pictures where the water in the creek or a water fall is silky smooth and has that Cotton Candy affect. Well that was my first obsession when I started and I have spent a lot of time trying to perfect that shot. Today I realize it is not that hard but in the beginning it was tough.
Take a look at the shot to the left. This is a picture of Greer Spring. Greer Spring is located 19 miles north of Alton, Missouri on highway 19. To get to the spring requires a 1 to 1.5 mile hike down a mountain. However, the trail has been laid out very good and your decent is a gradual one. Believe me the area is worth the hike.
I used the Pentax K-7 with the Pentax 12-24mm f/4 lens. This is a wide angle lens that has become my lens of choice for landscape photography. Because this is a somewhat fast lens I used a polarizer filter and neutral density filter on the end of it to stop down the lens enough so I could shoot with a slow shutter speed. Since I was going to use a slow shutter speed it was imperative to use a tri-pod. In addition I set my camera to three frame bracket with the first shot being normal, the second underexposed by -1.3 and the third shot over exposed by +1.3.
The first shot was taken with an aperture of f/20 and shutter speed at 3 sec. The second was taken at f/20 at 1.3 sec and under exposed by –1.3. and the third at f/20 for 1/8 of a sec and over exposed by +1.3. With the camera set for continuous shooting I jest clicked and the camera did the rest. By the way I used a remote to make sure I did not move the camera. Once you compose your shot and decide on the aperture and shutter speed, the camera will adjust the shots. I used f/20 for greater depth of field and to get as much in focus as possible
Each weekend I plan an outing to go take pictures and then I spend my evenings in post processing. This is the time when I evaluate my work and look at what I did right, wrong, and what could I have done better. Don’t be afraid of criticism its your greatest learning tool. But on the other hand don’t compromise your style. With that said I used a program called Photomatrix to process my three photos. Just click on all three, drag to the Photomatrix screen and let Photomatrix process them for you. During processing you will need to make a few adjustments to get the shot the way you want it. Save it to your files and open in Photoshop, Elements, Light Room or what ever program you use for final touch ups and apply your final magic. I tweaked the white balance, brought out the greens, sharpened, and copyrighted. E-mail me if you have any questions.