You may think that photographing a waterfall is a piece of cake. Often it is; point and shoot - you can't miss. St Nectan's Kiev is a bit different. For a start you have to stand in the river to actually see the fall. Then the light levels are so low because of the overhanging trees that a compact camera in fully automatic mode decides you really should be using flash. Donít be fooled. If you leave the camera to do itís stuff and let the flash operate all you will get is a murky photo with some strange whitish blobs. These blobs are the flash bouncing off the tiny droplets of water hanging in the air just in front of the camera. Turn the flash off. Most compact digital cameras will figure the correct exposure by automatically adjusting the ASA rating. If you feel the need, increase the shutter speed a little, especially if your feet are cold from standing in the river and you cannot hold the camera steady. A good tip for steadying the camera is to take a deep breath, then as you slowly breath out and just before you have fully exhaled, press the shutter.
The two portrait orientated photos on the far left and far right of the bottom row on this page look very similar. The one on the left was taken with a Canon Powershot digital compact in auto mode, no flash. The one on the right was taken with a Canon EOS 35mm camera with a Sigma 18-35mm zoom set at 18mm. The film speed was 200ASA, leaving me with a shutter speed of 1.5 seconds!! I hadnít thought to take a tripod, so gave it a go using the technique explained before. It probably would not bear close scrutiny if enlarged beyond 10x8Ē but nevertheless I was quite pleased with the result.