Welcome To Volume 3
“It Just Clicked”
We already know we share some common interests. We all have the desire to explore, experience, create, and preserve forever natures beauty and its creatures through our images. As well as capturing the many precious moments life has to offer through family, friends, and experiences. Or simply put, we share a love of and a passion for photography. Our goal with
each issue of “It Just Clicked” will be to share articles, tips and insights that will raise the level of and challenge us all photographically.
With over 60 years of combined experience Bill Rudock & Gen Benjamin bring with them a diverse portfolio of images, knowledge and a passion to share it all with you. So join us each issue as we explore our world photographically and experience
Life’s Greatest Adventures Through The Eye Of Your Camera
Photographers love to photograph waterfalls; whether it’s their incredible power or amazing beauty there is something about them that captivates. It’s no wonder that they are some of the most photographed natural features.
On a recent First Light Photography Workshop we traveled to the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. The “GAP” boasts hundreds of waterfalls and is a waterfall photographer’s paradise. We set out to capture some of the most photographic falls the “GAP” has to offer.
Factory Falls is a waterfall located in the George W. Childs Park. It is one of many favorite falls Bill Rudock, Master Photographer and First Light Photography founder and workshop leader likes to photograph with his clients. It is a short walk from the parking lot which makes it easily accessible to all.
As with the majority of landscape photography, photographing waterfalls requires the use of a good sturdy tripod and head. Most photographers will only need to purchase one tripod in their photographic career so we recommend that you don’t pinch pennies on this piece of equipment. Take your time and research the major brands and choose the
tripod that’s right for you. The carbon fiber tripods are more expensive but the lighter weight is really appreciated when caring your equipment long distances. It also helps when traveling by plane as extra weight in your luggage can get expensive. Tripod heads can be a little more difficult to choose and many photographers will need at least two heads, one for landscape and one for larger lenses. Just as with any piece of equipment research the tripod heads online and decide which ones fit your budget and your requirements. For landscapes Bill is using a Really Right Stuff BH-55 Full size ball head.
To create the image above Bill set his Nikon D4 on his tripod and placed it on a small ridge of the river bank just north of the falls. The camera height is set as close to the midpoint of the falls as possible so as to not have to tilt the camera up or down which can cause distortion. Bill’s choice of lens for this image was the Nikkor
18-35mm Wide Angle Zoom set at 35mm.
The aperture was set to f:22 for two reasons, the first being that it gave good depth of field to ensure sharpness from front to back of the image. And secondly even more important it forces a slow shutter that creates that soft silky look to the
water. ISO was set for the lowest prime number which on the D4 is 100. This setting helps get the slowest shutter speeds and will also produce less noise and capture more dynamic range in the image.
Metering waterfalls can be tricky. They are always white and on a sunny day can pick up reflections which will give to false readings. To avoid incorrect readings the image was spot metered off the rocks immediately on the right side of the falls. They were the best mid tones in the frame which is why they was chosen. The base exposure was f:22 at ½ sec.
After all this careful planning Bill was unable to create the image he had envisioned. It was a sunny day and the sensor could not pick up the entire dynamic range of the scene; highlights were blown and the shadows had no detail.
The solution was to create different exposures and merge them in post-production with HDR (High Dynamic Range) software. Bill used 5 exposures with two stops difference between them.