The Russian River is in Northern California. The small village of Jenner lies on its northern side, above the estuary.

Many of the pictures in this post show a smooth, silky sea. For anyone interested, this is how I obtain this effect. (Please note: I didn’t invent any of this, I’m just passing on what I have learned by reading other peoples blogs and picture comments on the web)

I use a 10x B&W ND filter for middle of the day shots. (a Polarizer filter will also serve to cut down light by a couple of stops)
Note: The 10x filter is pretty well black. The only way you can compose shots is by using the live view setting. The camera lifts the mirror in live view, which means when you release the shutter, there is less camera shake.
Use the manual exposure setting to set the aperture and shutter
You have to use a tripod because of the long exposure times
Use a shutter release cable. If you don’t have one, use the cameras 2 second timer setting. This will prevent the camera from moving when you push the shutter release.
Set the aperture to f/8 – f11, and then adjust the shutter speed. I mostly use shutter times between 10 – 30 seconds, with the occasional 2 – 3 minute exposure. You should probably overexpose by 1/3 to 1/2 a stop. Maybe even more. The longer the time, the smoother the water.
Final Words: Save your pictures as RAW (or RAW + JPG) files as this gives you more exposure headroom
Buy Adobe Lightroom and learn to use it (I can give you some help for $30 per hour)
Use Aperture Priority as much as possible.
If you are using a kit lens, try to always use f/8.
Post the pictures somewhere and invite feedback.


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