Canal Lock Waterfall Exposure Experiment

This is one of the first experiments that came out of a short (hour long) walk on Monday afternoon. It was a beautiful sunny day and I decided this would be a great opportunity to test out the limits of my new lens before next weekend. I did my usual walk around the block down the Bridgewater Canal, past the Deansgate Locks and through Castlefield before returning back to my flat. This photograph was taken of the last lock in the Deansgate Locks set before Castlefield. I don’t take my tripod out on short walks like this in daylight, but instead use a monopod, a one legged tripod. Although it isn’t as good for long exposures, it really helped here.

So what did I do? Well, if you hadn’t already guessed it, the above image is two photographs. The left side has an exposure time of 1/640th of a second whereas the right side of the image has an exposure time of 1/30th of a second. Using Photoshops “auto align layers” function I was able to get the two images perfectly aligned one above the other and then simply erased one side of the waterfall giving the effect you see here. I got this idea when sitting watching the waterfall. I didn’t know if the photo should have a slow or fast shutter speed, some people prefer water pictures with blurred water and some with sharp water, then it came to me why not have both?

What I didn’t expect was how the image would look. In my opinion this looks really weird, as if the water on the left is moving much slower than the water on the right. This is simply an optical illusion. It makes me wonder how far I could take this type of experiment. Anything where the camera captures something the human eye can’t see is something I have found interesting to record.

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