I finally did it!!!

What a fantastic day I had yesterday!  Although it ended up pouring rain late in the afternoon, the rest of the day was an amazing learning experience for myself and my youngest son, Daniel.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, Daniel is taking a yearbook course this year at school.  I know some people might scoff at yearbook as a class because they figure that it would be what we used to refer to as a basket weaving course, meaning that it’s an easy course with very little work.  Well, this definitely does not apply to this yearbook class.

The teacher for this class is an electronics whiz, and the yearbooks he has been involved in have actually won awards.  He has set this course up to be very challenging, and the students come away with an incredible amount of knowledge.  Before they get into the production of the yearbook, he teaches them the basics of photography and photo editing, and this weekend Daniel had to work on a photography assignment.  The assignment consisted of numerous exercises to help the students learn the important factors in taking great photos.  They included stabilizing your camera to get sharper images, the rule of thirds, filling the frame, natural framing of photos, lighting, point of view, leading lines, and basic use of a flash.

Some of the photos were easily taken at home, but to complete the assignment I suggested that we all go out for a drive to capture the start of the Fall colours.  Another day I will show you some of the photos Daniel took for his assignment, but today I am dying to share with you my learning experience of the day.  For a long time now I have been stuck in Auto mode, and I have been determined to take a journey into Manual mode.  I also had a goal this summer to experiment with more creative waterfall shots, but I never got around to it.

It started to rain as we drove towards Hoggs Falls near Flesherton, Ontario, but it was only spitting by the time we got there, so we hiked in to the falls.  We climbed down to the edge of a cliff to get the best view of the falls but had to be very careful because it was slippery after the rain.  I set up my tripod and readied my shutter release cable.  Then I set my camera to f/22 and a slow shutter speed and started snapping.  Now, I will have to admit that I did have to hold on to my tripod because of how close to the edge we were, but I am still totally excited about the results!!!

First of all, here is a shot I took in Auto mode today, which is how I always used to take waterfall photos.

Now, drum roll please………..  Here is my more dream-like photo of the same waterfall captured using a slow shutter speed.  Now, I know I still have a great deal to learn, like how to avoid the overexposed looking areas in the falls for instance, but I was pretty proud of my first attempt.  What do you think?  Any suggestions would be eagerly received :).

This entry was posted in Blogging, Camera Settings, Canon Rebel T3i, Composition, Flesherton, Ontario, Motion, Nature, Photographic Challenges, Photography, Photography Techniques, Rural Photography, Water/Waterfalls and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to I finally did it!!!

  1. krikitarts says:

    Excellent results, and all the better for a first try! Looking forward to more experimentation, Cindy. One other thing–the second image is all the more interesting to my eye because the waterfall is not as centered as in the first one; it’s more to the left of center, its flow moving into the rest of the image. Way to go!

    • It’s funny you should mention about the waterfall being centred because I’ve really been trying to get away from that lately. However, I was perched on such a slippery little piece of cliff that I didn’t really experiment with the composition because I was more worried about not falling off LOL!! Now that I know how to do this, I definitely want to go back and take some more shots :).

  2. Northern Narratives says:

    When I was in high school, I also took yearbook. I learned a whole lot about photography. It is not a basketweaving course. Have fun experimenting with your camera.

  3. I LOVE the dreamy shot – stunningly captured!!! 🙂 **

  4. sayvan says:

    What a great shot for your first time.. I remember when I first shot a waterfall and created that dreamy flow in the water… I know exactly how you are feeling and your deserve to be proud! Once you gain control of Manual mode you will be amazed at how many new creative opportunities arise for your photography… as for some tips… sun up or sun down is always the best… most waterfalls are in a valley so when the sun is hidden behind those peaks your lighting is ideal for that overall even look. I also find that overcast days tend to provide better results if I am too lazy to get up early (which is usually the case)… Once again here is a big “high five” to you!

    • Thanks for the “high five” and the great suggestion!! Since I am definitely a morning person, I will try going early in the morning next time. I can’t wait to experiment more! Unfortunately, the weather yesterday was up and down, so we had to grab shots when we could :).

      • sayvan says:

        True… We went out in the morning to shoot and then I went out after dark to work on some night shots. I missed the rain but everything was wet for the night shots…

      • You should have seen us outside in the rain last night. The last part of my son’s project was taking a picture of three people standing outside in the dark at varying distances from the camera. This was to show the effect of distance on the flash. We had to steal one of the neighbour’s kids to be the third person, and then we all stood there getting cold and wet while Daniel took his shots. Ahh, the things we do for our kids!! 🙂

  5. Roberta says:

    I love learning new things..Outstanding!

  6. I am learning a lot from you – even though I was a photographer for the newspaper I work for back in the 80’s I must admit that I learned on the job, so really never knew what I was doing. I love the difference in the photos, and have to admit to liking the dream-like second photo a lot, but love to have it to compare the first one.
    Your son’s course sounds valuable and will probably be the one he learns the most from this year.

  7. zelmare says:

    Yay, Cindy! Way to go!!!!! And I love the dreamy shot!!! Gorgeous.

    Daniel’s yearbook course sounds amazing, with a wonderful, inspired teacher. I think he is very privileged to learn so many important basics at such a young age. 🙂

    • Thanks!! It was so much fun experimenting and then actually coming out with good results :). As far as Daniel’s course goes, I really believe in “the younger you learn, the better”, and I’m so glad that he had this opportunity.

  8. Jeff Sinon says:

    Spectacular Cindy! Really getting the hang of the new camera aren’t you. It’s always so exciting to capture the image just the way you want it, and once you realize how to use the techniques required for this type of long exposure shot, you’re golden. If you don’t already have one, I would also recommend a good circular polarizer, (and I stress good, stay away from the cheap ones). As Sayvan mentioned above, overcast days are excellent for waterfalls, nice even lighting and so much easier to get a good exposure. Blowing out the water is very easy to do, and you handled it very well here!! Bravo!!!

    • Awww, thanks Jeff! I was really hoping you would like it since I consider you the King of dreamy waterfall photos :). Your opinion means a lot to me! Thanks for the suggestion about the polarizing filter too. I am going to a camera/photography show in 2 weeks in Toronto, so I will look for one while I am there. It’s put on by a major Canadian camera store, and they often have good deals on at the show.

      • Jeff Sinon says:

        Another tip, buy the best you can afford, I personally like B+W filters, also buy one that will fit the largest lens you have, or better yet, plan to have. And by largest I mean the diameter of the filter thread, not the focal length. Then you can get cheap step down rings to use it on all your lenses. For instance, the filter thread on my 70-200 is 77mm, but my 17-50 is only 67mm. If I could afford two $150 filters, then sure I’d have one in each size. But I can’t, and I’m cheap 😀

      • You are always so helpful :). So, what do you consider too cheap for a good filter? I mean I can’t afford top of the line, but I don’t want to buy junk either.

  9. Andy says:

    First time visit to your blog. I scrolled down looking at the photos until I saw the water falls. It looked familiar to me. I scrolled back to the text and realized I had also photographed Hoggs Fals before. http://eycandy.blogspot.ca/2011/09/watery-wednesday-hoggs-falls.html I think I also stared experimenting with longer exposures at this scene. It had rain most of the night before and I know what you mean by slippery. I am going to start following your blog

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