Trentham Falls, Victoria, Australia by David Hewison

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I don’t normally take landscape images and this is my first waterfall. I’m a professional sports photographer working the motorsport circuits, so this genre is very much out of my skillset.

So I decided on a whim to take my 9 year old son to check out a local waterfall in my area called Trentham Falls. It’s a lovely spot near Daylesford in Victoria Australia, known for its natural springs. I brought my gear because I always do but this time, I thought I’d try a new technique to overcome the fact that I’m horribly under equipped for long exposure landscapes.

I own a variable ND filter. Before you all accuse me of being some kind of monster, I bought it when I didn’t know any better and actually its perfectly fine for toning down the light when doing slow shutter panning shots. What its absolutely useless for long exposure work and if you go too far with the filter, it creates all sorts of crazy aberrations in the image. So the most I could go was 3 stops.

Anyway, we arrived at about 10am and quickly found that our overzealous parks department had closed off the track to access the Waterfall. There’s a viewing platform for those that prefer a rather vanilla view from a distance, but that wasn’t good enough for us, so we climbed over the gate and made out way down.

Although the photo doesn’t really show it, it was very wet down near the falls and keeping the lens dry was a challenge, but I persevered, and set about working out the best composition. Given I don’t have a decent ND filter I opted to go with long exposure blending. So I set the camera to an exposure of 5 seconds, aperture to f16 and ISO to 50, 3 stop ND and took 6 images for this photoset to stack in Photoshop later using the “Mean” stack mode to produce an equivalent 30 second exposure.

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