Thoughts on moving water or waterfall photos

One of the photography groups at Pixels/Fine Art America is hosting a contest the subject of which is waterfalls.  Any viewer can vote, I did, and if you want to here is the link to the contest overview page (just click on the vote tab to begin).

When I finished voting I had to rethink what I had learned about photographing moving water.  The technique was to use a longer than normal shutter speed (I learned it as 1/20s or less) in order to blur the water given the sense of movement.  However, after looking at 500 photos, I’m not convinced the technique is worth doing anymore — or if it is, then should be used sparingly.

This image is an example of the technique at its maximum use.  Its very attractive, but I don’t get a sense of moving water.  I think the method is overused and at least my mind finds it hackneyed.  On the other hand, this one was taken with no attempt to blur water lines, and this one was taken at 1/20s for a slight blur.

Its all up to the viewer of the image of course, but I am rethinking when and how much I should use the blurring technique in the future.

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