Photo Tip – How to get that silky waterfall…

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Chris – how do you get those silky waterfalls in harsh light like you did???
So I get asked this a lot because you have to have a slow shutter to achieve the silky smooth waterfalls. Now you can get fancy with filters and such that make the camera view things a few stops below that allows for slower shutters speeds even in daylight as this was shot but I don’t even own a filter. Not that there is anything wrong with that and they absolutely have their place and time to be used…however I have never shot with one and don’t own one.

So how did I get this?? Well basic knowledge here will help out as I am not going to go through the entire exposure routine on this one…however if your camera is able to shoot at ISO 50 remember that moving from ISO 50 to 100 doubles your setting. The secret for this type of thing is to shoot at your highest FStop in this case F/22 and the LOWEST ISO in this case ISO 50.

So for the below shot I shot this with the following settings:
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III
ISO: 50
Focal Length: 17mm
Aperture: f/22
Exposure Time: 0.25s (1/4)
Date Taken: 2014-03-24 13:54:28
Exposure Program: aperture priority

Today’s Photo: Powerful Waterfall
So there is actually a story to this image. This photo was shot on what we thought was going to be a trip to the top of the mountain where the Chimney Tops reside. It was chilly, we were headed up to the top – got out the car, put on some warm clothes, grabbed the camera pack and tripod and off we went. Crossed over a bridge and there was this totally awesome set of rocks everywhere with water streaming awesomeness each way we looked. I of course said – hey I am going to take some shots here before start up the mountain – you guys hang out and I will be done shortly. OK great! We are going to explore. So I take some shots here and there, climb around up and down these rocks. Take a few photos of people with their cameras and such. I get finished and I go find everyone and to my surprise there is a soaking wet 11 year old explorer with a huge smile…me….ummmmm…nice job slick….are you cold? Yeah kind of – just then jumps again to another rock and *SPLASH* there he goes again…dip number two in the water. By the time we made it back to the car (which I had the best parking spot we could get and this place was CROWDED!!!) he fell in 3-4 times. Now normally this would not be an issue as I am ALWAYS prepared and carry an extra closet in my truck…however that is for me and my truck was a few states over…so yeah we did not make it past go….we did not collect any money (poor Monopoly humor here…) and headed right back to the hotel to get the poor little guy warmed up and a change of clothes. On the way up it was gorgeous, no traffic, perfect conditions. The way back to the hotel for operation “warm change” everyone must have told everyone else that conditions were perfect and that there was no traffic – because on the way down the road in WAS PACKED. so instead of planning to come back up we stayed around the hotel for another hike that was within a rock throw of the hotel. This was also nice – however there is a story for that one as well…but I will bore you with it later…as the camera did not make it out of the bag…

Behind the scenes – Watch Macro Photography

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Today’s Blog: – out of the normal but in to the normal
Hello all – if you guys did not know I enjoy watches…I have many and many have me…they are a form of my precious…none really get me going the way Breitling and Casio G Shock though.

I hang out on a few watch forums and I have posted a few post with photo sets of various watches. One question that I often get asked by those GREAT group of members there is this –

“Could you please give us some tips and tricks on how you get these shots, as well as maybe a behind the scene look?”

So welcome to this post – however let me preface this with – this is NOT going to teach you the basics of a camera and I will assume that you understand FStops, shutter speeds ISO etc as well as basic exposure principals. I am going to attempt to show you all how I do this. So without further blabber from me – let’s get into this. Maybe I will do video on this as well if there is enough interest. Also if you come back and check you will see some posted with various other things that I enjoy including knives, flash lights and things that go BANG!!! All of these things are forbidden at the main forum so I am not able to post these types of things there.

Technical details:
Camera – Canon 6D
Lens – Canon 100mm Macro lens
Lighting – Cheap clamp on lights from lowes, 5000k 1600 Lumen 23w CFL (100w eqivolent)
Light box with black background

Now here is the basic setup, there is a light clamped on each side that is being diffused by the sides of the tent.

iPhone backed up as expected...Genius

Ok, so there is the basic setup, now one of the tricks is getting the proper viewing angle that clearly shows the watch face. The only time I dont worry about this is if I am getting a detail shot in close where the DOF (Depth Of Field) will blurr out the face anyways.

You will also want to play around with the apeture – also known as FStop. I go anywere between F2.8 and F11. Remember the lower the number the less will be in focus and the higher the number the more that will be in focus. You I use an ISO speed of either 3200 or 6400 – this will be dependant of the shutter speed that you are shooting. Shutter speed I move between 1/40, 1/125 or even 1/400 – this is the variable that moves around to get the exposure that you want. I typically will underexpose the shot purposely because the camera has a hard time interpretting the light situation with the two bright lights shining in. Over exposed means to bright under to dark. I typically find that 1-1.5 steps under works beautifuly. Remember that the slower the shutter the more steady hand you need. A lot of people will tell you to get a tripod – I agree with this, however for my macro work especially on these watches I hand hold ALL of them.

So below is the latest shoot that I did with the Casio G Shock Gulfmaster – it is a gorgeous piece that I really really like. Also note that I purposely used some darkening on the shots where the digitals don’t seem to viewable – I did this to draw your eye in to the subject. You will see on most that the digitals scream out at you as it should. I hope that you enjoy these as much as I did making them. Also if you have questions leave a comment and I will do my best to answer them.

Historic Cabin

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Today’s Photo
This is not far from my house – within a quick walk from me yet I don’t get there as often as I could or should…

On this day a storm just got finished coming through and the skies were still reflective of that. Yet the glowing of the light spoke volumes to the mood and overall feel as I gazed into the mystery of the history I was creating in my head. The magical feel became more apparent as I stared at the cabin and the times of yesteryear danced around my head…it was a great creative scene that I hope you have fun with also.

About this cabin – below is the snippet taken from the official site found here Wartinger Historic Park <--- Click me :)

George Jarusiewic Cabin, Replica (circa 1805)
The Jarusiewic Cabin was discovered in April 1972 on North Fairfield Road. In 1972, Beavercreek resident George Jarusiewic owned the property, and his restaurant was named Scotties. George Jarusiewic wanted to preserve the old house for Beavercreek. The house was dismantled, meticulously, and rebuilt at Wartinger Park by George Jarusiewic. In the spring of 1997, the 16 by 24-foot structure was removed from the park because of insect infestation by the Beavercreek Parks, Rec. and Culture Dept. Only the fireplace was salvaged. Brady Kress, Executive Director of Dayton History made the replica, authentic to the period. Ten tons of stone made the stone fireplace from a cabin located on Sperling Lane in Beavercreek.

Resurrection – Happy Easter

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Today’s Photo
Have you ever wondered why people who don’t believe still celebrate Christian holidays? Just seems odd to me…I have always wanted to ask them why but this is usually a hot topic for people so I tend to just let that question be…

Anyways – here is a shot that I took at a church in Dayton Ohio – it has significance to area but also to some in my family. I hope that they are all doing well today and all eating way to much :)

I hope that you have an awesome Easter and an enjoyable day.

Oh I forgot – on the food topic – I cooked my grandmothers traditional Easter Sunday meal for today – this is always bitter sweet for me as she passed on the traditions and cooking to me and made sure that I know before her last breath that I was responsible for passing them on and that she was well pleased with my cooking – in fact she said that it was better than hers and to anyone that knew her that was saying a lot! I miss her and my grandfather everyday.

Also on the food topic – I follow quite a few people on twitter however I admit that I only check in and read a handful of peoples tweets. One that I saw was this (this will be a paraphrase as I like to keep a little mystery around things) –

“You won’t get fat eating 1 bad meal – so this Easter – GO EAT! There is always tomorrow to go back to your healthy lifestyle :)” Well actually that was not even close….but yeah you get the point :)

The Darks Within The Lights

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Today’s Photo
I took this today amidst a crazy cavern that you are not allowed to use a tripod. This was a 3 shot HDR handheld at high ISO. I am trying to gain permission to get a private setting and permission to use a tripod. Getting this was quite a challenge, but I am happy with the way it turned out.

Shadows Revealed

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Today’s Photo
I came across this awesome scene while shooting in Nashville. It was quite “Epic” in my book and I walked around and by numerous times before I decided to stop and shoot it. It took quite a long time to get it just the way I wanted it, but I think that it was worth the wait. I can’t tell you how many people walked in front of me…stopped…turned and said – “are we in your way?” – as usual I smiled and quietly said – no, no problem…and waited on them to view and move on.

© Chris Lehman Original Writing February 2014

Blinded by shadows lights lit the way
What Lurks beyond the wonders of today?
Casting stones I felt so alone
Your light shone
My path revealed
Would I follow?
Only Time would tell
The dawning of tomorrow
Looking out the waves begin to swell
Courage raging with the storming of the sea
Is this really my choice
Where is it that you want me to be?
Moonlight pierces the blinding night sky
Eerily I began to hear your heart cry
Spinning out of control the ship spun awry
The captain pushing we will not say goodbye
To quit is something he did not know
The crew he commands, let us prepare to stow
Looking up fist in rage
Is this now the becoming of your age?
Was he ready for this coming stage?
He felt as trapped as an animal in a cage
Looking left and then to right
straight ahead in to the night
He felt as light as if in flight
The angels wings spread in delight
bringing bright to this very night
Gasping his eyes awoke
Someones words then he heard spoke
Was this a dream coming to a halt?
And with that, again he locked his vault

© Chris Lehman Original Writing February 2014

Jesus’s shadow – written by Noah Lehman

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Guest writer today
Today, I introduce you to my son Noah – he chose the photo, the title and wrote about it.

Today’s Photo
I like this photo, it reminds me of Jesus and everything nice.

A little bit more about this photo – this was taken at the art show that I went to a while back. There was a person there that made these rocks and candles. I took a break from talking with everyone and grabbed my camera and walked around the place and I saw this and it just looked interesting and show this became what I stared at. Hope you enjoy and it brings you the same light that it does for me.

Feel free to leave a comment.

New Site Look and Daily Photo – Dizzy

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What’s next on your list…?
Well – whats next on your list to do this year? I had a long list of items, but I like to be a bit mysterious so I am not going to come right out and say whats on the list – however if you look really closely and know my a bit you might be able to read the code hidden within…muhahahahhaha

Today’s Photo
Walking in to this place is just mind boggling for those of us that are visually stimulated. I did not know if this was seizure inducing, stomach twisting or just plain awesome with a twist of the others in there as well. This is the second time that I have been there, yet this time it made more sense to me. I often don’t scout out a location first properly but rather go with my gut. However when I find something awesome I do tend to go back to enjoy its visual appeal over and over – this place is no different. I honestly can’t wait to go back there again :)


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Today’s Photo – Emily
Had the pleasure of shooting an awesome model – boy was it cold and boy was she a trooper! Hates the cold and snow but never complained one time! We shot for a while and watch more to come :)

I told you guys I would be shooting different styles this year ;-)

PS – Sunflare
Sometimes I like it, sometimes I hate it…in this one it worked so I left it in there :)

Summer bliss

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Today’s Photo – Summer Bliss
The winds pushing inwards from the sea. Sunsets gracefully, silhouettes of grass and palm trees. Such beauty all around left only for you and me. What more shall we need? Chris Lehman ©2014

That is a small taste of some of the style and things I write – look for more to come later.

The below was such a warm summer sunset at the beach, one of my times to shoot and one of my favorite places. Sitting here in the winter rain – I wish I was on this beach – this photo takes me there – how about you?

Snowy Winter Morning

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Today’s Photo
I often hear from others – I need a better camera…
I often also hear – Wow, you must have a really good camera…

Devil is in the details…

Took this on the morning commute via my iPhone - it is definitely winter and it is definitely cold and snowy! Christmas is almost here - it has gone to fast for me. The older we get the quicker time seems to pass.

Your Light in My Hand…

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Site changes coming….
So I am still not liking the site feel and look – I don’t know if this is because I am searching for something that is not out there or if I just like the change…

I like the way that site functions but I want a whole new look, if this is something you have skill in please contact me and let’s collaborate to get this looking the way I want :)

A few surprises and things coming up
So that sounded way more fun than it really is. I have been on a journey over the past year that has me going in different directions than what I first thought I would be going. A friend of mine reminds me that it is about the skill not the gear (there is a gear head in ALL of us that shoot – we all want the gear even though we know that it is the person behind the gear and their skill that is more important). However with that said this year I am going to challenge myself (call it an early New Years resolution) to shoot more and more and also shoot things that I normally would not – people. Now I am NOT going to do the traditional “Sears” type shoots – that is NOT my gig at all. No offense to those that do that style it is just not for me. And with that I want to get some gear to go with it – strobes, backdrops etc. This is where the above reminder comes from – don’t over spend on the best gear, get what you NEED and learn that and don’t over spend – because we all know that times are tough especially for artist.

Secondly over the past year I have been more and more encouraged to share some of writings (in case you did not know – I am a writer also) So look for some of these to be released in limited availability. Those that encouraged me and spoke to me about doing this – you know who you are and I thank you for helping me step out of my comfort zone. We will talk more about that later ;-)

Also I sold my first ever show and did ok so I might look to do a few more of these this year.

Today’s Photo – Your Light in My Hand…
So I took this Christmas Eve at Church this year. I am falling out of my normal pattern a bit with processing this and releasing it so soon, however I look for more of this to happen over the next year. Also I tend to shoot a lot of HDR shots – look for that not to show up as much either – and with that a Black and White that could not be more polar opposite of my normal :)

Snowy Stream

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Today’s Photo – Snowy Stream
Well…normally in the spring time you find all kinds of gorgeous frames to shoot – budding trees, budding flowers, early blooms, critters of all kinds, spectacular sunrises (not that I actually get up and shoot those…I value my bed early in the morning…), sunsets (one of my favorite things in the world to shoot) and many many other things.

This is of course unless you are in the great state of Tennessee – because everyone says this – you like the weather today?? Stick around because it will be different tomorrow. I have experienced this first hand and this trip was no different – the day before it was sunny and chilly – next day – the below happened :)

She Remembers Love

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Today’s Photo
So this is one that I think speaks to many as roses represent love and many other memories and emotions. Some people think that I travel around to exotic places snapping this and that – this I went a really really long way to get – my kitchen…yep thats right this was in my kitchen :)

Fall Rush

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Today’s Photo
Am I the only photographer that does not stay on the path to get the shot? I hiked way way down this steep rocky waterfall cliff – yes I did fall, banged up all my gear, but here is the resulting shot.