Current, Snohomish River

You may be wondering, “Wow, how’d he get that picture? It looks like he’s standing in the water.” Well, if you are thinking this, you’re right. I’m standing just upstream of these plants (probably willow shoots), with cold water rushing around my calves and into my boots, carefully watching the tripod to make sure the current doesn’t knock it over. This is a 30-second exposure (made possible by a ten-stop neutral-density filter), which smooths out the water. I wonder now how it would have looked with a shorter exposure – enough to convey motion, but not so much that it all goes silky smooth. What do you think? Do you feel the current, or is it so smooth that it looks static?

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4 responses

  1. Chris

    For me the blurriness of the water and the twigs definitely convey the feeling of motion. Although I don’t know how much I am influenced by being a photographer, and therefore familiar with the effects of movement on the photo. The standing ripples also help. Nice shot. Funny how is seem peaceful and serene, when it was probably cold, loud and stressful to take the shot!

    May 3, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    • It was cold, loud, and stressful, but it was also the most fun I had all day. It’s exciting to do something a little crazy and stand out in the river. I waited until it was time to head back to the car before I did it to minimize my time in wet boots.

      May 3, 2012 at 6:05 pm

  2. Chris

    What ND filter did you buy?

    May 3, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    • B+W ND 3.0 Multi-coated. Not truly neutral, it turns out. It’s noticeably warming, but that’s easy to correct in Lightroom.

      May 3, 2012 at 8:39 pm

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