Photography Equipment:

UPDATE: Yup…still have those awesome cameras, but I’ve gotten lazy and lately I use my iPhone 95% of the time 🙂 Easy to take snapshots as we’re busy enjoying life. Still love my cameras and I need to dust them off, but I also love the technology that I can pull out of my pocket at any time.

I’ve had a couple of people ask me about the cameras that I use, so thought I’d make a page to share a little bit about our photography equipment. Understand that I am just an amateur – better really at Photoshop than I am at taking photos, technically! That said, I LOVE taking pictures – LOVE, LOVE, LOVE taking pictures. I can’t wait to get home, unload my cards and see what images I’ve collected to represent our little trips!

I have three main cameras that I carry with me – A Nikon D7100 – A Nikon D40 and a Fuji X100

Fuji X100 – A good looking, solid little camera!

My newest camera is the Fuji X100I LOVE IT! I can’t imagine all the money I’ve spent on small point and shoot cameras over the years, (Cannon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus…)  always hoping for something that would be small, easy to use and produce great shots inside, consistently. That’s what my Fuji does. It’s almost magical!!! I put it through impossible situations with lighting, and it gets it right almost every time. I’m still learning how to use it, but lately it’s my go-to camera. I use it for about 90% of my pictures! Drawback…it’s a fixed length lens, no zoom…but I don’t care, it ROCKS! Here’s Ken Rockwell’s review of the X100 if you’re interested:

I also own a little Nikon D40. Up until I got the Fuji, I used it as a reliable point and shoot. It does a pretty great job, too! It’s light weight and works much like my D200. Lots of times while hiking I’ll leave my D200 home and throw the D40 in our backpack. The lenses are interchangeable for the most part – an added perk!

We have a sturdy Manfrotto tripod, a neutral density filter, a circular polarizer and extra batteries that we carry also, and that’s about it!

I’m going to do another post about how to shoot moving water. It’s fun to freeze water and get that silky, flowing look!


Shooting Waterfalls:

Fairy Falls, Columbia River Gorge

Many years ago, a friend of mine (Derek von Briesen,) who is now an accomplished photographer, shooting for publications like National Geographic, sent me a friendly email with advice on shooting moving water! I promptly printed the email, stuck it in my camera bag and had my husband read it to me line by line as we headed up the gorge to try our hand at shooting waterfalls. What an exciting moment when you “figure it out” and get that water to freeze the way you want it to!

Check out his work here:

Here’s a bit of the note that he shared with me:

Proper shutter speeds will depend on the luminosity of the water (the whiteness or foaminess which is dependent on speed, amount of light, crashing against rocks, etc). The clearer the water, the longer you need to attain that smokey, silky look. Generally, the blurring begins to occur around 1/20 sec. and, as you’ve seen with my work, you can go as high as 8-20 secs (but the water better be pretty clear or you pretty distant, otherwise it will turn into a big white snowball effect.

What I do is use aperture priority, and close down the lens with high f/stops. Usually I start at f/18 and move higher from there.

First, I’ll shoot at an f/stop around what I think will work shutter speed-wise (between 1/20-1 sec) and, using the histogram and exposure warning “blinkies,” i’ll nail the proper exposure.

Once the exposure is correct, changing the aperture will modify the shutter speed but the actual exposure will stay the same, capiche?

Of course, the other deal with water is that sometimes, even at your lowest iso, there is too much light (on a sunny day for example) to get the slow shutter speed you need. Here’s where the use of neutral density and polarizing filters are essential. Neutral density filters reduce light without affecting color. Polarizing filters will both reduce light and help to control reflections in the water and off the rocks.

-Happy shooting!

Camp Creek on Mt. Hood