Archive for July 12th, 2009



The Rush (Batson River, Emmons Preserve)

The Rush (Batson River, Emmons Preserve)

We have had a lot of rain this summer, as I may have mentioned, and all the streams are running full. Baston River which runs through the Emmons Preserve (part of the Kennebunk Land Trush system) is no exception. I have photographed it before in spate, and know the challenges from my failures.

This shot is your traditional rushing water between green banks shot. One of the difficulties in shooting at Emmons is the depth of the shadows and the brightness of the light where it does fall through. I am always having to compromise on exposure and manipulate in post processing. This shot, on the other hand, being fairly even in lighting, required only that I change the white balance to cloudy, and use Program Shift to force a slow shutter speed. Community wisdom says that blurred silky water captures the rush better than water frozen in motion by the shutter. Generally a tripod is needed, but with the image stabilization on the H50 you can get away with hand holding.

Sony DSC H50 at full wide. F7.1 @ 1/6th sec. @ ISO 100. Programed auto, with Program shift.

On the other hand: this is closer to what it looked like. We do not, after all, see silky water anywhere but in photographs. It is an artifact: an attempt to capture the feel rather than the reality of the subject.

The Rush 2

The Rush 2

Even in this shot, the low overall illumination under the heavy canopy pushed the shutter speed below water freezing levels, but certainly there is more detail in the water. This is the other extreme, where I used the program shift to select the highest shutter speed possible in this light.

Sony DSC H50 at full wide. F2.7 @ 1/40th @ ISO 100. Programed auto, with Program shift.

Both had the same post. In Lightroom, Recovery for the highlights in the water and considerable Fill Light to open the shadows. Added Clarity and Vibrance and Landscape sharpen preset.

So my question, both to myself and to you, is: which one do you like better?

I plan a more extensive examination of this subject on Point and Shoot Landscape in the next few days, but what do you think? Which does a better job of capturing the sensation of the rushing water? Which looks more real? (Those might be different answers.) And finally, which is more aesthetically satisfying? To you?

From Around Home, Kennebunk ME