Golitha Water Falls

Golitha Water Falls and TV (time value) SLR Setting

By Lee Kane / October 17th 2013


Cornwall, to which I have a lots of full folders of photography, and whilst on the same trip as the visit to Port Isaac, I thought I would try out the shutter priority or TV (time value) mode on my Canon 50D SLR.

So what does the TV mode do? It lets you set the shutter speed, ISO and white balance etc while allowing the camera to set the aperture. If say you set the shutter speed for a long exposure of say 4” (seconds) it will set the correct aperture to let just the right amount of light through as to keep the photo balanced.

(Click on the images below to enlarge)

One creative aspect of using the TV mode is the smoothing of running water, like rivers, oceans and waterfalls. I love this kind of photograph and wanted to experiment, so I found an interesting place to experiment on called Golitha Falls

Known locally for its natural beauty, ancient woodland and Otters, its part of the river Fowey. Most recently it was also discovered that in ancient times the locals panned for gold in this river and exported it to Ireland and and other destinations around europe as reported in by David Keys in The Independent, who used one of my images for his article. Along this particular stretch of the river, with its rocky attire, there are some great rapids. Perfect for some Time Value action!

Being an Autumn month on my visit, it was a little chilly along the banks of the river, and quiet, so I was hoping to catch a glimpse of the Otters. But no luck. So I set my tripod up, which is an essential for taking photos with a long exposure, and started experimenting with the Time Value mode setting on my camera.

F22 shutter speed 4' ISO 400
Golitha Falls, part of the River Fowey

I tried several shots and adjusted the shutter speed and ISO to see what worked best. What I found was that different light conditions and distances made for no one best setting, however most of these photos were taken around 1”3 (seconds) and a couple at 4” (seconds). It really helps if you have a good tripod. The tripod I was using when I took these photos was quite cheap and lightweight, which lead to a slight blurring of some of the photo’s. More experimentation pending.

I walked all the way along the river and not being the kind of guy to be put off when the path starts to disappear beneath the forest, I carried on. Plotting myway through the undergrowth I eventually came upon a part of the woodland that had been forgotten where I found some fungus, the remains of an old structure, and a wall all masked in moss. After that the undergrowth got a bit too deep so I headed back.

Old ruins covered in moss
Old ruins and wall at Golitha Falls

Another creative, and in this case ghostly effect you can make with the TV mode, is to make people transparent. In this case I got my sister to pose with a knife over this unsuspecting fella. The settings I used on the camera were F16 with a 10” (second) exposure and an ISO of 100. I got my sister to stand over him for 5 seconds, and then to move out of the picture, while my brother in law had to sit still in the same position throughout the whole 10 seconds.

F16 shutter speed 10' ISO 100
F16, shutter speed 10", ISO 100

And what have the cows got to do with any of this, and why do they look so angry? I just don't know! Guess they didn't want their photo taken.

Angry Cows
Angry Cows or Moody Moo's you decide!

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Let me know what you think!