Travel Photography Tip – Shooting Water with Cameron Siguenza

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An example of Staying in the Moment Cameron Siguenza

Travel Photography Tip – Shooting Water with Cameron Siguenza

Continuing with our April theme of Photographing Water, we have landscape photographer Cameron Siguenza with us. He shares with us three simple habits he has that helped him get these four incredible shots.

“Siguenza’d”: Verb. To obtain an epic photograph. Ex: “I totally siguenza’d that shot.” [anytonym: “boncore’d”]


How I took these 3 Waterscape Photographs with 3 Simple Guidelines.


Stay in the moment:

I took this waterscape photo just up the coast from Santa Cruz while waiting for a sunset that never came. The light was very bright and harsh but there were clouds passing over the sun. I waited until the sun briefly went behind the clouds to help tame the brightness in the shot. I also composed the photograph so that the brightness fell on the right side of the photo, to show contrast with the darker left side. I then used my Lee filter kit holder, with a 3 stop singh Ray Reverse graduated filter, angled to the right to further tone down and soften the sky area. I used a circular polarizer to help with the reflection and the clouds. I was with some fun friends who were talking and not using their cameras, while they waited for the weather to improve.

I was watching things more closely, missing out a bit on their fun conversations while standing knee deep in cold water. Out of all of this, I saw a brief 90 seconds or so where I took several memorable shots that looked very different. The day ended with a fairly uninspiring sunset, but we enjoyed our outing just the same.

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An example of Staying in the Moment – Cameron Siguenza

Keeping an Open Mind:

Occasionally I hear that a photographer should always go to completely unknown places, while I simply prefer to find something interesting no matter where I am. This is easier said than done of course, and this challenge continually inspires and motivates me.

In this infrared photograph of popular Multnomah falls near Portland, Oregon, USA, a very popular tourist destination, I used a classic composition of the falls to offset the look of infrared photo. To contrast between the tones of the upper and lower part of the falls, I left out the sky, which also helps to simplify the photo somewhat.

An example of Keeping an Open Mind Cameron Siguenza

An example of Keeping an Open Mind – Cameron Siguenza

Patience and warm clothing:

For my final photo, I ventured out into the chilly night air up the coast from Santa Cruz, CA to spend most of the night on a salt mist enshrouded beach, with a few bright flashlights, warm clothes, my trusty Induro tripod and a variety of Singh-Ray and Lee filters for long exposure experiments. I spent hours of my time, shivering occasionally, while light painting the water with my flashlight countless times to get the right effect, while trying to stick to a good 30-120 second exposure range. By sheer luck, a meteor appeared, but I took probably 1000 or so photos that night as I was experimenting a lot. I composited in the ocean section in Photoshop, as I liked the way the ocean looked the best from a different exposure. I processed the image 3 times in PS CS6 for foreground, mid ground and sky.

An example of good old Patience and Warm Clothing

An example of good old Patience and Warm Clothing – Cameron Siguenza

Cameron Siguenza:

Cameron enjoys photography, travel, and building software companies. Cameron grew up in remote areas of British Columbia, Canada, and happily lives with his family in Santa Cruz, California. Cameron uses two camera systems, a full frame modern DSLR, and an inexpensive DSLR that was converted to infrared in 2012.


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