River reflection of fall foliage Yosemite National Park

When Life Gives You Clouds, Take Pictures of Water

I’m the type of person who’s easily awed by nature. No matter where I go, I’m always like Belloq at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark when he sees that lovely face rise out of the Ark of the Covenant and yells, “IT’S BEAUTIFUL.”

Don’t remember the scene? Shame on you. Here you go.

Of course then Belloq and all the Nazis get melted by God’s laser beams, so the metaphor doesn’t really hold up, but you get the point. The 107th cactus of the day? BEAUTIFUL. Juniper tree? BEAUTIFUL. That cow over there? BEAUTIFUL. The tree in my backyard? BEAUTIFUL.

B.–not so much.

So, when the weather became cloudy and the light dull–in other words, during what B. considers the “meh” parts of the day–we decided to take some pictures of waterfalls and reflections.

I’d done the silky water thing before by slowing my shutter speed down to about 1/4. But this time, I had neutral density filters! Neutral density filters lower the light entering the camera so that you can get even slower shutter speeds.

Here’s the typical sort of picture I take: 1/4 shutter speed.


Kind of cool, especially how the water looks sort of like a sketch.

Here’s running water shot with a 3-second shutter speed.


4 seconds.


And then I got CRAZY: 8 seconds.


And here’s FIFTEEN.

Reflections are fun, too, especially in the fall.



And just because, here’s a picture of a rock that I thought was pretty because of the light hitting it.


2 thoughts on “When Life Gives You Clouds, Take Pictures of Water

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