Sunday was a lovely day to be out with a camera, and we were fortunate to be at Bridal Veil Falls with Pro Photo Supply and 10 intrepid photographers interested in exploring the confluence of time and light that can only happen in a camera. This field trip was the second in a series presented by Base Camp Brewing Company, Outdoor Project, and Pro Photo Supply.
Waterfalls make an ideal subject for working out the nuances of a long exposure, so we chose to visit Bridal Veil Falls for its proximity to Portland and the short access. To get that perfect waterfall long exposure shot, this means metering on the preferred subject, establishing a shutter speed that conveys the sense of motion the photographer would like to see, and then making the corresponding decisions about aperture and ISO. Add a 10 stop variable neutral density filter to the mix, and soon all of the elements begin to line up into a better understanding of the camera's fundamentals. It all boils down to gaining the knowledge that allows the photographer to make the decisions about the scene. As with so many other subjects, photographs of waterfalls are immeasurably improved when some comfort with manual metering and exposure adjustment is achieved.
In terms of light we couldn't have asked for a better day. We had about two hours in the soft, even light of an overcast sky, and then the spring sun broke through and provided a more challenging, higher contrast dappled light to the water and lush understory. Photography can be a great strategy for extending attention, and watching this light change was one of the benefits of spending an afternoon in an area that frequently is seen in 30 minutes or less. With any luck, some of the participants will share additional photos with Outdoor Project down the road as contributors!