Freeze Motion Shots of Night Fountains

Fountains are designed to please the eye, but they often produce disappointing images when shot during the day. However, many are dramatically lit at night, and are better isolated from their background in the dark.

There are basically two types of fountain shots. One type has a pleasing soft blur from the water motion, which require a long exposure, and thus a tripod; this type of shot is excellent for including both the fountain, and a lot of detail about other elements in the image, such as architecture in the background.  The other type of image is ones that have sharp water detail. Digital cameras have improved to the point that a tripod not actually necessary for the freeze-motion fountain shots; after all, to freeze the water, the shutter speed much be quite fast, making hand-held shooting possible, though multiple shots are a good idea, so that the steadiest shot can be selected.

The shot below is a handheld image of a fountain in Zurich, with lots of very satisfying frozen water detail. The image was actually darkened a bit from the default RAW settings, to reduce the emphasis on the background, and noise in the darks. With the latest DSLRs, there would be even less dark noise, and other processing options opening up the background further would be possible.

Night Fountain-1

C. David Tobie

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WEBINAR: Getting the Most Out of Your Your Holiday Photography, Wed Dec 12 3-4 EST

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Please join David Saffir and myself for a casual chat about improving your holiday photos. This will include tips for photographers at all levels. You can register for this webinar here. This will be at 3pm today (Dec 12) on the East Coast of the US, Noon on the West Coast. Your local time may vary…

There will be a Datacolor Spyder4Pro given away to a participant at each webinar (no reindeer required, we’ll ship it to you), and there are sure to be some excellent specials offered as well. We’ve put a good deal of time and thought into the ideas and examples in this webinar, so we hope you’ll attend; and enjoy the holiday spirit, as well as the photographer’s comradery.

Credits: C. David Tobie, Copyright 2012. Website: CDTobie.com Return to Blog’s Main Page