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Photographer’s Eerie Nighttime Series Features an Abandoned Water Park

Photographer's Eerie Nighttime Series Features an Abandoned Water Park

Photographer's Eerie Nighttime Series Features an Abandoned Water Park 1

Photographer Ken Lee enjoys the mystery and excitement of nighttime photography as he explores abandoned sites when most are asleep. His latest series features an abandoned water park that had plenty of photographic opportunities.

Nighttime photography can unleash creative opportunities that daytime shoots don’t always deliver. Lee, an experienced nighttime photographer and explorer of “secret places” across the country, finds this type of photography particularly appealing.

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“If I do a long exposure of several minutes, I am able to walk around the scene and light it with a handheld light, much like a producer might light a movie, choosing what to illuminate and what to keep in shadow,” he says.

He also finds that having creative control over lighting, texture, and color can be “totally addicting” and unique because no two photos ever come out exactly the same. Not just that, the calm of the night makes the process a therapeutic and calming one, giving him time to slow down, take in the surroundings, and appreciate the stars drifting across the sky.

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One of Lee’s latest shoots at an abandoned and post-apocalyptic-looking water park fit the bill — it had plenty of unique features to explore, splashes of color from graffiti sprayed on the buildings, and exuded just enough of darkness and mystery for Lee to really enjoy shooting the area.

The night he chose to photograph featured a full moon and as a result, provided Lee with plenty of light and allowed him to have a longer exposure of several minutes for his shots. He also was able to stop down to f/8 and use a lower ISO to have a broader depth of field, reduce the noise, and provide enough time to light paint exactly how he intended.

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Lee points out that photographers often think they need special equipment to do shots like these.

“On the contrary, although a nice camera is of course always helpful, you may use any sort of camera that allows manual control, which is just about any DSLR or mirrorless camera, new or old,” he tells PetaPixel.

“You can create photos like this with modest equipment, especially since you don’t need a lens with wide apertures, which are typically more expensive.”

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Currently, Lee uses a Pentax K-1 with Pentax 15-30mm f/2.8 lens, both he purchased used. He also has a Nikon D750 on hand, which was also a second-hand purchase, along with a Rokinon 12mm f/2.8 lens.

All of the cameras were mounted on Feisol tripods, while he used a handheld ProtoMachines LED2 light painting device, which produces all colors in the RGB spectrum, allows brightness and saturation control, among other features.

Although photographing in late hours can be a peaceful process, Lee felt a little apprehensive and unsure whether he’d come across any strangers hanging out at the park. That’s why Lee suggests photographers obtain permission whenever possible or go visit sites that require special permission prior to entry and can therefore be considered safer.

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Another option is to organize a shoot with other people, which can give a sense of safety due to the number of people around. Similarly, night photography workshops can give a good shot at night photography, although those tend to focus more on astrophotography, Lee says.

When it comes to the finished images, Lee doesn’t let him sit idle on his computer. He already has two books featuring night photography of abandoned sites, which give personal stories alongside the history of the sites where possible. Images from this nighttime visit at the abandoned park are likely to make an appearance in his upcoming book, but there is yet plenty of work to do from writing to assembling the book.

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He plans on visiting other abandoned sites for more images because part of the excitement is visiting, exploring, and learning about the history of these sites, as well as photographing them at night.

“Between creating night photos, the rich history, the mystery, and the vivid experience while exploring, there can be quite a lot to share in these books!”

More of Lee’s work can be found on his website and Instagram.

Image credits: All images by Ken Lee and used with permission.

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On Assignment: Creating a Rippling Water Light Effect

Photo of ripple effect image

Editor’s Note: Have you ever wondered how your favorite photographers capture the images they take? Digital Photo Pro’s monthly column “On Assignment” is where Canon Explorers of Light, past and present, share a backstage look at one of their favorite assignments and how they delivered the goods. This month we go On Assignment with portrait photographer Lindsay Adler.

As we near the end of the warmth of summer, it is time to take advantage of what summer light and weather is left! For this shot we will be using natural light, a pool, and one lens for eye-catching summer beauty shots.

The Challenge

The concept of this shoot was to capture the ripples of the water from the pool onto the subject. We’ve all seen the sun strike water and create beautiful glistening light that mirrors the rippling of the water. But how do you create that on-demand and capture it in a photograph?

Let’s take a look at the ingredients.

Photo of color and black and white ripple effect

The Lighting

To create this effect, you need three key ingredients: (1) direct sunlight, (2) your subject in shade, (3) slight movement to the water.

• Direct sunlight

Be sure that the sun is hitting the water directly. In other words, you’ve got to have a bright and sunny day. I personally prefer the light a bit earlier or later than noon because this makes it easier to catch the bounce of the light. At high noon the top-down effect is sometimes restrictive for compositions and catching the ripples.

• Subject in shade

In order to see the ripples of the light, your subject will need to be in the shade. In some cases, this may happen naturally, perhaps under an umbrella near to the poolside. In this instance, we held a reflector directly over the subject’s head. We are not using it to bounce light, but instead to block the sunlight. A piece of cardboard, black flag or other ‘light blocker’ will also work. Just be sure that whatever is casting the shade isn’t casting any weird color bounce on the subject. For example, a bright red and brown pizza box is probably not the best choice!

• Slight movement of water

Our bodies moving in the water was more than enough to create the rippling texture needed for the reflections.

The Camera Gear

For this shoot I utilized the Canon R5 and Canon RF 24-105mm f/4 lens. This is my go-to camera and lens combination because of its versatility. First of all, the Canon R5’s electronic viewfinder (with exposure simulation) allows me to preview in real time any changes in the light or adjustments in my camera settings. This makes sure I’m nailing my exposure every time.

Furthermore, the Canon R5’s face and eye tracking feature absolutely saves my life! It finds the eye closest to the camera, locks focus, and keeps my shot sharp in every frame. It’s incredible and such a time (and frame) saver.

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One of my biggest concerns for this shoot was that to really get the powerful angle I wanted, I needed to be at a lower angle. Of course, this is challenging when you are in the water. I hovered with my lens within a couple inches of the top of the water. Risky, yes. Worth it? Yes!

You can certainly get an underwater housing for your camera, and there are even inexpensive $40 bags that would provide some protection. I thought this was perhaps a bit of an overkill, so I was just very cautious of how low I was getting and made sure no one agitated the water beyond the ripples needed to create the effect.

Photo of Adler ripple effect 3

Camera Settings

• 1/400 sec

• f/4 and f/5

• ISO 400

Other Challenges and Considerations

In order to create a clean background and a more high-impact image, I hung a black piece of cloth behind my subject. The result is a cleaner composition that allows me to put emphasis on the light in the scene without having any distracting elements in the background.

For the lighting effect in this image, we put shade over the subject, making her appear darker. To compensate I had to allow more light into the exposure, and in doing so the background appeared too bright and distracting. My solution to simplifying and darkening the background was to utilize this black cloth.

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Other Effects

To create another layer of interest in this shot, I added a 4-point cross star filter to the front of the lens. My subject was wearing glittery makeup, and you can see that the light glistened off her face and created subtle starburst effects near her eyes. This, in my opinion, makes the results appear even dreamier.

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So many summer images are colorful, bright and sunny. I decided to go for a high contrast black and white image because it was a bit unexpected and really put emphasis onto the texture of light. I still enjoyed some color versions of the image, but the black and white was the most eye-catching result to me.

Photo of Adler black and white

You can learn more about Lindsay Adler on her Canon Explorers of Light page and her website. You can also follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

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Man Busted Getting Into Water with Grizzlies for Photos

Man Busted Getting Into Water with Grizzlies for Photos

Here’s a good example of how NOT to photograph grizzly bears out in the wild. This video shows a man who was caught on camera wading into Brooks River in Alaska and getting too close to feeding grizzly bears in order to snap some smartphone selfies and photos.

A common piece of advice in photography is to “zoom with your feet,” or to get closer to your subject instead of relying on a longer focal length (i.e. “zooming in” with your lens). This is especially helpful when shooting with smartphone cameras that don’t offer much in the way of optical zoom.

But the National Park Service in the United States has strict guidelines for how close you can get to wildlife and where you can position yourself.

In this particular case that occurred in August 2018, people were watching a popular live nature cam by pointed at Brooks Falls in Alaska’s Katmai National Park when they were surprised to see the man step into the frame.

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The man getting too close to grizzly bears for photos. Still frame from video by

Brooks Falls is famous as a popular location for watching salmon leap over the 6-foot-tall (1.8m) falls to reach their spawning grounds at Brooks Lake 1.5 miles (2.4km) upstream. During salmon spawning season between July and September, grizzly bears congregate at the falls to feast on the flying “fast food.”

The feeding frenzy is popular among photographers as a great spot to capture photos of bears snapping at salmon flying through the air.

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A grizzly bear catching a salmon at Brooks Falls. Photo licensed from Depositphotos.

However, photographers are restricted to a dedicated platform set up to give visitors a great view while keeping them safe.

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The viewing platform at Brooks Falls. Photo by NPS Photo/L. Law.

Upon seeing this man step into the water, viewers of the live cam feed contacted park rangers, who then quickly showed up at the scene and caught the man and two other individuals breaking the law by being in the closed area.

The National Park Service said it would be pressing charges against the three individuals, though it’s unclear whether those charges ever materialized.

“People need to recognize that these are wild brown [AKA grizzly] bears,” said Katmai National Park Superintendent Mark Sturm. “These visitors are lucky that they escaped the situation without injury. The possible consequences for the bears and themselves could have been disastrous.”

NPS guidelines in Katmai require visitors to stay at least 50 yards (46m) away from all bears at all times.

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Water & Electricity Mix To Create A Brilliant ‘Photo Of The Week’

Water & Electricity Mix To Create A Brilliant 'Photo Of The Week'

A brilliant example of water splash photography has been crowned our ‘Photo of the Week’ on ePHOTOzine.


Splash photography with a bulb


A studio still life shot that features a splash, a bit of flash and excellent timing has won our ‘Photo of the Week’ (POTW) title and a Samsung EVO Plus 64GB MicroSDXC card with SD Adapter, courtesy of Samsung. 

Simply titled ‘Splash!‘ the image, captured by ePz member robhillphoto, is an excellent example of how fun and creative splash photography can be. We love the detail in the water drops as well as the tones with the blues and orange of the bulb complimenting each other nicely. The composition is great as is the timing and we really like that there’s interest above and below the waterline. It’s just an all-around great image that’s a great example of how a simple still life can have real impact – we love it. 

All of our POTW winners receive a Samsung EVO Plus 64GB MicroSDXC card with an SD Adapter courtesy of Samsung. To be in with a chance of becoming our next POTW winner, simply upload an image to our gallery where you’ll also find all of our past POTW winners.

Plus, going forward, we will also announce a new ‘Photo of the Year’ winner who’ll win a Samsung Portable SSD T7. Each POTW winner, 52 in total, will then have their image shared in a new POTW forum where, in January 2022, we will ask you all to hit the ‘like’ button on your favourite images. Then, the ePHOTOzine team will count up the likes and our first ‘Photo of the Year’ winner will be announced.

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5 Water Themed Photography Projects To Try Today

5 Water Themed Photography Projects To Try Today

Us Brits are well known for moaning about the water that often falls from the skies above the UK but even rain should be welcomed sometimes as without it, we wouldn’t have cascading waterfall, rivers and streams to photograph. So, to carry on with the watery theme, here’s 5 water-based photography subjects you should try and capture with your camera this year. 

1. Water Droplets

If you don’t have the time to find a river or stream, wait for it to rain and use a macro lens to capture raindrops on a window at home. The upside-down projection of the world outside always make interesting images or wait until the rain stops falling and head outside, into the garden, to photograph the drops of rain that can be found on plants. Focus on the end of a leaf, background blurred, so when the droplet falls you’re ready to capture it, pin-sharp. Just remember to use a tripod as the slightest shift in camera position can drastically change the composition and it will reduce the risk of camera shake too.



2. Waterfalls And Rivers

If you want to have a go at blurring waterfalls or the movement of a river head out on an overcast day it’s easier to get the slower shutter speeds you need to make this technique work. Make sure you have your tripod with you when you leave the house and a remote cable release (if you have one) to stop shake ruining your shot and take care when you’re metering as your camera can be fooled into thinking the scene’s too bright so all your shots could come out underexposed. Bracket a stopover and under or fit an ND filter to stop as much light entering the camera.

There is no right or wrong shutter speed to use when photographing waterfalls as this depends on how far you are from your subject, how much blur you want, the amount of water you’re photographing and the speed at which it’s flowing. But if you want a starting point, a speed of 1/15sec is a good place to begin. If you’re at the coast, this same technique can be used to photograph waves. Once you have your smooth, flowing water shots, set a faster shutter speed, 1/250sec or higher, and make your watery scene seem frozen in time.

For rivers, get down low with your wide-angle lens to demonstrate how the river narrows to the vanishing point or look for higher ground and show it meandering through the scene.




3. Reflections

Lakes and reservoirs provide plenty of potential for photographing reflections. A sunny day by a calm lake will give you an almost mirror-like image of your surrounding landscape but don’t forget to try and shoot somewhere there’s foreground detail to prevent the scene looking boring. If you’re not near a lake, a puddle or wet pavement will work just as well.

Double yellows


4. The Sea 

While at the coast you can either use a slow shutter speed to blur the waves or a fast one to freeze them in their tracks. If you go for the fast approach wait until the wave is at a peak and shoot. Slow speeds are great for creating lava-style flows of water as waves break on the beach. 




5. Water Bubbles

Capturing water bubbles is fun, challenging and can leave with you with a series of abstract shots well worth hanging on your wall. You’ll need quick shutter speeds and ideally, work manually to give you more control. 

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dudler's latest blog : art, snap or reportage

Water! 16

I realised, a few days into shooting again, and running workshops, that I was feeling tired and almost unwell by the end of four hours in a studio. Now, I’m past retirement age and not the…

Water! 17 Water! 18 Water! 19 Water! 20

Water! 21

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These Photos from Space Make Earth Look like Water World

These Photos from Space Make Earth Look like Water World

These Photos from Space Make Earth Look like Water World 22
Photo Credit: Thomas Pesquet / ESA

European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet recently published a set of images from the International Space Station of Earth that show only water and clouds, which makes the planet look very different than it is normally seen.

Thomas Gautier Pesquet is a French aerospace engineer and took part in the European Space Agency’s Expedition 50 and 51. He recently returned to the ISS for a six month stay via the SpaceX Crew Dragon.

Pesquet recently shared a set of three images of Earth that he took from what he refers to as “the crow’s nest” of the International Space Station, but is very likely the Cupola Observation Module.

The cupola is a small module designed for the observation of operations outside the station such as robotic activities, the approach of vehicles, and spacewalks. Its six side windows and a direct nadir viewing window provide spectacular views of Earth and celestial objects. The windows are equipped with shutters to protect them from contamination and collisions with orbital debris or micrometeorites. The cupola house the robotic workstation that controls the Canadarm2.

As noted by Digital Trends, Pesquet’s reference to Earth as a “blue marble” is likely in reference to the famous image of Earth taken by the Apollo 17 crew in 1972.

Astronauts on the ISS have some of the best views of Earth and the individual members, who are regularly rotating, have uploaded thousands of images over the years. Last year, NASA paid homage to its favorites in its top 20 photos of Earth taken from the space station.

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Photo Credit: Thomas Pesquet / ESA

What makes Pesquet’s photos unique amongst the vast number that have been shared over the years is that this group of three shows no land at all. Considering that the Earth is made up of 70% water, it does at first seem strange that photos with this perspective are rare. However, the focus on land for most of those who photograph the planet from space is likely because humans spend very little time on the vast openness of the sea, which makes it usually less interesting for the average photographer or even viewer.

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Photo Credit: Thomas Pesquet / ESA

But Pesquet’s images are so jarringly unusual that they look like a completely different world, or perhaps the one from the 1995 action science-fiction movie starting Kevin Costner.

The scientists and astronauts have a wide range of top-of-the-line cameras and lenses available to them, but the best photos always require the best photographic eye, which Pesquet clearly possesses.

Image credits: Photos by Thomas Pesquet / ESA

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6 Top Tips On How & Why To Capture Creative Abstract Photos Of Water Bubbles

6 Top Tips On How & Why To Capture Creative Abstract Photos Of Water Bubbles

I know the first thing some people will ask: ‘why?’ Well, to be fair, that is a perfectly sound question and yes, why bother standing in a stream and shoot water bubbles. To me, it is because you can and with digital there is no cost. It is also a nice break from the usual blurred water shots that many of us love. So, while you are out there doing waterfalls, spend a few minutes afterwards trying this subject.

“It is fun, challenging and you may even like the results. In fact, if you want some abstracts to hang up, this technique is worth trying”, ePHOTOzine.

Of course, you can shoot water bubbles in the bath, should you feel that way inclined. However, this idea is water bubbles in a babbling brook or at the foot of a waterfall. Health and safety point here: Please take care on slippery rocks and obviously take care of your kit.

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1. Take A Support

You could, of course, use a tripod and position the camera so it is pointing down. Tripods that have a centre column that can be swung round to horizontal make it easier to shoot down onto the water’s surface as well as offering more support than working hand-held will. Do make sure your tripod is secure and balanced so it won’t fall over, camera first into the stream or river you’re photographing.

2. Pick The Right Lenses

Lens-wise, try your lens’s macro feature or use a macro lens. A macro lens used close up is perfect, but there won’t be a great deal of depth-of-field at such fast shutter speeds. Setting a high ISO is an option, but that depends on the noise performance of your camera.

3. Dress Appropriately

Wear sturdy boots, making sure they are waterproof if you’re planning on standing in a stream. Wellies or waders mean that you have more freedom regarding camera position but you can just find a suitable spot by keeping your feet dry and standing on a rock or something. You’ll also need a warm, waterproof jacket, particularly at this time of year when a rain shower is a common thing. Various jackets and photographer’s vests are available on the market.

4. Choose The Right Shutter Speeds

Find yourself a good spot in the stream. This can be in a sunbeam or it can be in the shade. However, very fast shutter speeds are the order of the day, so check the lighting and if you are getting 1/1000sec or more, great. It is an opportunity to explore those speeds of 1/2000sec and 1/4000sec. As with blurring flowing water, try different shutter speeds. Flash is worth a try too.


5. Let’s Talk About Focus And Exposure

Exposure and focusing are technical challenges. Your camera is not going to manage to autofocus – water bubbles do not hang around waiting for your AF to kick in. The best thing is to focus manually and then change the camera position to get sharp focus. The reject rate will be high.

Exposure can be tricky because you have a bright, sunlit bubble against a dark background, and the scene is constantly changing. Like focusing, taking the manual option is worth serious thought. Meter manually, shoot some frames and make adjustments. Once you have metered for a particular lighting situation, it is time to start shooting.

6. Don’t Stop Shooting

Shoot lots. You are not going to get the perfect picture in a couple of frames. You will find that the micro landscape in front of you is never the same twice – miss a shot and you are not going to get another identical shot. Put in a positive way, every shot you take will be unique – no question. You can also play around with your images in Photoshop, flipping images to create interesting patterns etc. 


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How To Capture Incredible Water Droplet Photos

How To Capture Incredible Water Droplet Photos

Water droplets are a lot of fun to capture, but it can be tricky to time the shot and light the scene. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to get started and create your own version of this classic shot.

There are lots of photography staples I think most photographers have tried at one point or another. For example, most photographers will have tried their hands at light painting, long exposures of moving water, and street photography; they’re just part and parcel of owning your first dedicated camera. Another example for many is water droplet photography, but it can be trickier than most of the other staples.

Water droplets are captured by simply setting your camera up on a tripod and dripping water into a bowl or container so that it causes a small splash. However, there are elements to this simple shot that can make it more complicated. For example, you’ll need to have a fast enough shutter speed that the water won’t blur as it pops up from the surface. To do this, you’ll likely need some strobe or continuous lights to illuminate the scene enough to get a proper exposure. You then have the issue of timing the shots, getting the focus perfect, reflections from the lights, and so on. In this video, Jay P. Morgan of The Slanted Lens walks you through a behind-the-scenes droplet shoot, explaining what he’s doing as he goes.

If you want to mix it up a little further, I have three suggestions: milk or cream instead of water, food dyes, and colored gels on the front of your lights.

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johnriley1uk’s latest blog : water, water everywhere…..

johnriley1uk's latest blog : the cameras with the wonderful lenses

Water, Water Everywhere…..

29 Apr 2021 4:08PM  
Views : 85
Unique : 75

It’s raining. As if to confirm that water is the order of the day, tonight’s ADAPS Zoom Meeting is on the subject of water. There is no doubt that water is one of those ingredients that can perk up an image, be it real water or Photoshopped water. So today let’s have a look at some of my images involving water, along with a brief explanation where that might be helpful

Eyemouth and a subtle rendition of water shot at night. I waited and took several shots so I could get the red light of the warning beacon.

Gawthorpe Hall. The “water” is just a flipped image of the hall, presented to look like a reflection.

Llangollen. The broiling waters below the train station never fail to impress.

This shot from inside our dishwasher has had a good run!

A bit of light relief?

Soft water effect in the centre of Bergen.

Bodellwyddan. Another made up reflection.

Just one more step back……

Bass Rock, with added flare courtesy Photoshop.

End of the road. The consequences of not respecting water.

Boggle Hole.

Smuggler’s Bay. My made-up title, very Enid Blyton.

The Magic Pool. Soft water plus Photoshop flare.

Learning to Paddle.

Finally, it is Brother-in-Law’s funeral tomorrow, so I’ll finish today with a picture of him, as always quite happy to pose for trick shots. Photography can be fun, it’s allowed!

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