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Bert’s Beauty Shots: Creating Mystical Effects

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One of the things I like about Alaska is the mystical atmosphere in some of the areas. Especially the rain forests in Alaska are a great opportunity to create a mystical, almost dramatic atmosphere, which reminds one of the ancient Celtic times.

You can enhance the dramatic atmosphere by adjusting your shutter speed to a very slow setting when taking pictures of running water. The slower your shutter speed, the more you can let the water move in your image. If you use a fast shutter speed, the water would “freeze” in your image, and in this case it wouldn’t do the photo any good, as you want to create that dreamy idea.

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One thing to keep in mind is that you need a tripod when shooting with a slow shutter speed. If you don’t use a tripod, you’ll most likely end up with blur in your photo for the simple fact that your shutter stays open longer and thus the sensor picks up a lot of information, including movement of the camera. Unfortunately I didn’t have a tripod with me, as I didn’t expect to end up in a forest when I took these shots, hence the images are a little blurred … yes I know, I should always carry a tripod … point taken … I promise I’ll carry it wherever I go next time.

Bert van Mackelenbergh is the hotel manager aboard Westerdam.

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