One of the more popular questions I get asked from people who have seen some of my shots by water whether its the sea, river, a waterfall... is how did you get it to look smooth or milky rather than crisp and sharp water detail shot.
Well it's done by using the Long Exposure Technique.
Basically when the photo is taken, rather than the shutter opening and closing very very quickly like it normally does to keep the image sharp with no blurring, the shutter opens and closes very slowly over quite a few seconds, sometimes as long as 20 or 30 seconds.
How to do this with a dslr camera.....
Find a spot where nothing else is moving in the background, so no people, trees moving in the wind, boats bobbing up and down in the water, otherwise the water isn't the only thing that's going to look like its moving.
You need a tripod or somewhere to place your camera where its not going to move.
To get the shutter to open and close over a number of seconds you need either low light (early morning/late evening) or in the daytime you need a Neutral Density (ND) Filter to go on your camera lens.
There are no specific setting to capture anything in photography as every scene is different with different lighting and so on, so the following are only a guide to help you as a basis for this type of photography so try it and maybe change the setting as you need or want to to give you the desired effect and light.
I used Aperture Priority for the photo below so the camera set its own shutter speed according to my other settings, but you can use Shutter Priority and choose your own shutter speed and let the camera choose the other setting for you.
In the photo below taken at Linton Falls near Grassington in the Yorkshire Dales it was fast running water at this location so I didn't need a longer shutter speed to get this effect on this photo but if its slower you may need your shutter to stay open longer.
So to get the photograph below I ....
Placed camera on tripod.
Attached ND Filter.
Set to Aperture Priority Mode
ISO 100 - F9 - 6 Sec Shutter Speed.
Use either the cameras timer or a remote button to take the photo to stop camera shake and blurring of the background, half press to focus and then full press to take the photo as usual.
Check after on view screen and adjust settings if required and re-take if it's not quite how you want it.
And don't forget like most photographers, some editing is always done back on the pc to lighten / darken / bring out the colours etc.
Hope that helps - Its not that complicated so try it, have fun and don't get too disheartened if it doesn't work out for you first time, Practice makes perfect.
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