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Photographing Yosemite: Digital Field Guide by Lewis Kemper

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7.3. How Can I Get the Best Shot?

To get the best shots of Fern Springs, get down low and close to the water.

7.3.1. Equipment

Fern Springs is one location in Yosemite you can photograph quite well with a normal to short telephoto lens. A longer telephoto will allow you to get close and photograph details of the fall. A polarizing filter and a tripod are also useful.

7.3.1.1. Lenses

If you're going to photograph the entire springs and its waterfalls, you need a wide-angle lens in the 20-28mm range. Normal to short telephoto lenses in the 50-150mm range work best for doing the close-up details of the tiny waterfalls. And longer lenses from 200-300mm allow you to photograph the abstract patterns on the surface of the water (see figure 7.1).

Figure 7.1. Fern Springs is Yosemite's smallest waterfall. Taken at ISO 100, f/18, 1/3 second with a 24-105mm zoom lens at 105mm.
7.3.1.2. Filters

The most useful filters used at this location are the polarizing filter and a neutral density filter.

  • Polarizing filter. The polarizing filter allows you to reduce the surface glare from the water and see into the crystal-clear spring. This filter also reduces the light entering your camera by up to 2 stops, which can come in handy when trying to blur the water.

  • Neutral density filter. The neutral density filter reduces the amount of light entering your camera and allows you to photograph at very ...

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