You know those iconic blurry water shots that sometimes can be really moving and inspiring? This is not one of those blog posts.
I was on a hike to Nevada Falls in Yosemite (I would like it noted we took the longer route to the east thank you very much) and at the first bridge (where the trail splits and you can go left to Verdana Falls or via the longer route) I stopped for a breather and asked Michele, “So… what happens if lighting is all bright like it is now and you try a moving water shot?” and she just looked at me like, “You idiot.” but what she said was, “It won’t work.”
Being a bug I pressed that unsatisfactory answer, “But what happens?”
“Get your camera out and try it.”
So I did.
It was 10 or so a.m. – way too bright to do a shot like this. And I knew that. I just didn’t know what the bad shot would actually look like.
Well, it looks likes this:
And it occurred to me, after I had satisfied my curiosity, that you don’t know what you don’t know. I’d never seen a blown out moving-water attempt, because why would you post that as a photographer? But knowing the abstract idea of “it won’t work” for all of the reasons and seeing it “not working” it all makes sense – the light is too powerful and contrasty and it won’t provide any detail above a big white splotch in your frame.
And now I know.