Avoiding Getting Wet

A longer post today. Over on +The Patch - PhotogrAphy Themed CHallenge we're doing a month of Landscapes, and this week our sub-theme is Water. Occasionally as a primarily landscape photographer you have to get off the path to get a shot. For this challenge I found myself balanced precariously on a rock in the middle of a stream while my camera, on a tripod, was balanced just as precariously on a fallen tree trunk.

Balanced on a rock
Not Much Room for Error
As you can see, I need different shoes for this shot. Thankfully no feet were harmed, or soaked, during this shot.

The other thing this challenge really drove home is the usefulness of a polarizing filter. I started off shooting without the polarizer and wasn't really that impressed with my results. The glare off the water wasn't very attractive and was distracting. So I pulled out my admittedly cheapo polarizer and there's a pretty big difference.

With and Without Crops for Polarizer
Polarizer Comparo
These are 2 crops of the same area of a creek, using the same settings. The glare streaks make seeing through to the rocks difficult, and give this a very shiny look. Taking a couple minutes to put the polarizer on, and because it's a circular polarizer, rotating it for the most effect, we can see this creek is very dirty (recent rain, lots of mud) but we can see the rocks on the right, and far less glare. Would the shot be better with a more expensive filter? The bloggers would say yes, but for now I'd rather put the money towards a better camera.

Another feature of my camera that I really like and wish more cameras had is the fully articulated screen. I can flip mine out, angle it 180 degrees. It's perfect for the selfie, if that was what I wanted it for. But occasionally I find myself backed into an area where I can't get behind the camera to take a shot. Oddly this has happened more often than I can count, which makes this feature a pretty big deal to me. Now a wifi enabled camera with a smart phone app could make this a non-issue, but this just seems easier.

No Room Behind
For some of the shots I took I was wishing for an ultra wide angle lens. I dream of the thousand dollar 7-14mm (14-28mm in 35mm terms) Panasonic ultra wide. For these shots I was, well the camera was, down low and back as far back as I felt comfortable putting it. Composition was down using the articulated screen from the side of the camera. It made things a little tricky, but after a few practice shots it got better. The cable release wire is also very helpful in these situations. And if you've gotten down this far, a shot that doesn't feature my shoes!

Falls Framed by Rocks
Through the Rocks
This isn't the shot I'm submitting for my project. At least I don't think it will be. I'm still undecided on which shot I'll for that, but I liked how this turned out with the framing.

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