Getting Wet At La Cascade d’Ardent

Cascade d'Ardent, French Alps

While exploring la Cascade d’Ardent at the weekend I managed to accomplish a couple of photography firsts. Not only did I get my tripod wet for the first time, I also successfully shot flowing water in daylight with a Neutral Density filter.

During the day there is normally too much light for a longer exposure. An ND filter acts like a pair of sunglasses for your camera, letting in less light than usual. This means you can use longer shutter speeds to get a silky smooth water effect, even in the middle of the day.

Somehow this was the first occasion I had both an ND filter and my tripod at the same time in the right location. I had so much fun experimenting with the filter and the angles. I even had a few people stop and watch me carefully set up my tripod in the water. They probably thought I was crazy!

Do you often use a neutral density filter? Maybe you like to get your feet wet in a stream every now and then?! I’d love to hear from you!

27 thoughts on “Getting Wet At La Cascade d’Ardent

    1. Ben Post author

      Thanks Helen. It’s definitely worth knowing about ND filters, especially if you’re interested in getting shots like this. Glad I could be of service!

      Reply
    1. Ben Post author

      Thanks Andrew, I’m sure you will have great fun with it too. As always with these things practice makes (closer to) perfect! I look forward to seeing what you can do with it 🙂

      Reply
    1. Ben Post author

      Thanks Manal, they’re definitely a good investment if you want to shoot water or long cloud exposures during the day. I’m sure there are many other creative ways you can use them too!

      Reply
  1. judilyn

    I used an ND filter on my film camera back in the early 80’s, but have not made the transition on the digital models currently. Should give it a try.

    Virtual hugs,

    Judie

    Reply
    1. Ben Post author

      I guess the filter technology has not changed much over the years, but at least these days you can see the immediate effect on the back of the camera. It must have been tricky to get the shot right without that, you really had to know your kit well!

      Reply
    1. Ben Post author

      Thanks 🙂 Catching up with your blog I guess your last trip was Iceland? That must be the best place on earth to have an ND filter!

      Reply
      1. More2Explore

        Yes it was. Highly recommended. And yes, bring all of your ND filters. I saw some folks shoot with black filters. You would need that for nice waterfall shots. There is always high contrast and fast changing light!

        Reply
      1. Hayley

        We used to see them trickling down as you drive up to the ski resorts in the summer but we never thought there would be bigger ones like this. You’ve really captured the fast moving water in this one and make me feel gutted we didn’t go and see for ourselves!

        Reply
        1. Ben Post author

          Oh no! That’s not my intention! I’m sure you will be back in that area one day, so at least you know now for next time 🙂 I’d love to say that I hiked for hours to get to this spot, but it’s right next to the main road so very accessible.

  2. Rob Weir

    Very nice picture.

    I have also recently purchased an ND filter and graduated ND filters. During the last weekend I shot a flowing water type shot but must confess I used a polarising filter for that purpose as it was already on the lens. Do you have any thoughts about ND filter versus polarising filter for this purpose? From my point of view my ND filter has more stopping power (8 stops) so I guess it may be more useful than the polarising filter because of this.

    Reply
    1. Ben Post author

      Thanks Rob. Yeah I think you’re right, it really depends how long you want your exposure to be and how much light there is. In some cases a polarising filter will do, I may have been able to get away with using one in these conditions since I was in a forest with no direct sunlight. But in brighter daylight you would need an ND filter with more stops to get the desired effect. Hope that helps!

      Reply
    1. Ben Post author

      Thanks Kan. I really love that dreamy effect too, and it’s only enhanced by the beautiful greens of the forest. I’m going to have to make more trips to spots like this over the coming months, they are so peaceful!

      Reply
    1. Ben Post author

      Thanks Scott, it was a little precarious being in the water but certainly worth it for the composition. I took a few different exposures for the water, glad you agree that this one works 🙂

      Reply

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