just a smidgen

Shutter Bug


Isn’t he just the sweetest?

A quick jaunt to the Bow River for photos.. meant a quick text to my brother, Jack, for camera technical support. Jack is manager at Saneal Camera’s 11th Avenue location and he has been my expert and “go to guy” for cameras, lenses, filters, etc, for years. He knows every camera inside and out and can simplify the process. Jack is always only motivated to match his customers together with the right product.

Best of all, I can text him with questions and he always gets back to me right away.

Today I wanted to learn how to take photos of moving water, the kind where the water becomes almost “dreamy” and soft focus, whilst leaving the rest of the photo, rocks and trees, in focus. Within seconds I had my answer.. fortunately, I knew enough to take my tripod along.

Text 1


Text 2

In my last post we discussed Aperture Priority. Today I learned that there is a mode called Shutter Priority or TV on my Canon.
(Silly me, I thought it was a video setting!)

So if you set your camera to Shutter Priority and turn it to the lowest setting/number possible, the shutter will open for a very long time and anything in motion becomes blurred. My first two attempts were hopeless because I had chosen a very sunny day and a river that was quite slow moving. So I gave up and took a regular shot.. the color was boosted with photo editor Picmonkey.

Shutter 2

Our river water really has changed to this crazy pretty turquoise blue since flooding, I think silt has been carried downstream from the mountain riverbeds?

I moved over to an area where water was tumbling over boulders and played with different Shutter Speeds, from the lowest and then going up in increments. There is a sweet spot where there is enough time to blur the moving water and still keep the rocks and the rest of the photo from being too light or overexposed.

I finally managed to capture this photo, Jack was correct, TV mode with the shutter turned down to 1/15 was ideal with an ISO set at 100 (more on ISO later)… here it is, cropped..

Shutter 5


I was beginning to get the hang of all things Shutter and decided I needed some real waterfalls to experiment with.
I headed west past Bragg Creek, it’s a quick drive to Elbow Falls. I had the perfect, though a wee bit chilly, overcast day..

the heft of the clouds in the grey sky pressed down and were almost begging to snow.

I had forgotten the devastation that our June flood has wreaked on this area.. it was a sobering reminder to see massive piles of driftwood and half of the visitor benches and picnic area destroyed and uprooted.


Fortunately the path was still intact and a bit of scrambling over massive boulders as well yielded a fine crop of Shutter Priority photos. Most of these were shot with a 1/3 or 1/4 shutter which gave that misty flow to the water without compromising on exposure. They all have a filter applied.. and some tweaks with exposure as well where needed. I wanted to play up the turquoise tint of the water.
As I stood next to what is now a dull roar.. you could feel the tumult and cold weight of her as she thundered past.










I’m still learning about ISO, 100 ISO is thought to be the “norm” and photos taken at this ISO setting will be more refined, like the ones above. I used a 640 ISO to capture this little fellow.. because he moves so quickly! That may have made this photo a wee bit grainy. F-stop was set at 4 (remember, that allows a bit less definition/depth of focus behind him) and shutter speed was set to a quick 1/100, to capture him in action! I couldn’t believe how nonchalant this little fellow was, he wasn’t the least bit perturbed when I walked to within 3 feet  of him to take this photo!


I’m going to head back there this weekend with my family in tow.. if they’ll join me.
I think I can see a piece of driftwood or two looking quite lovely in my garden next spring:D


Love, Smidge



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