How I Got The Shot


New feature for my website, How I Got The Shot – borrowed from my Instagram feed (@AnthonyMorganti).

*Click on the image to enlarge

I took this image at Letchworth State Park. As I exited my car, there was a flash of lightning then a rumble of thunder so, to save time, I eschewed the use of tripod and ND filters but still was able to get the water to blur shooting handheld. How? you ask… lol⁣

Camera Settings

I put my camera in High Speed Continuous mode and fired off 6 vertical images, holding the camera as steady as I could. The camera info and exposure for all 6-images were as follows:⁣

Nikon D850 with Nikon 24-70mm F2.8 Lens⁣⠀
1/80sec, F8.0, iso: 64 at 70mm⁣⠀
Spot metered on the sky. Single point focus on the cliff wall to the left near the waterfall.


I got in my car just as it started to rain. Got home and processed the image as follows:⁣

Processed 1 of the 6 images in Lightroom. Nothing out of the ordinary. Just Basic, Tone Curve, Detail, and Lens Corrections. Then I copied all of that processing to the other 5 images.

Next I took all 6-images and opened them as Layers in Photoshop.

Next I aligned the layers by selecting them all and going to the top menu: Edit>Auto Align Layers⁣

I then duplicated the top layer by selecting it and hitting Command-J (Control-J for a PC). I then turned that layer off.⁣

I now have 7 layers. I selected bottom 6 layers then converted all of them to a Smart Object.⁣

Next I selected the smart object and went to the top menu – Layer>Smart Object> Stack Mode> Median. That blurred the water but didn’t blur much else.

Next I turned on the top layer. The water isn’t blurred on that layer. I added a layer mask and painted in black, on the mask, allowing the blurred water to come through.⁣

Next I saved to Lightroom and finished the image with the HSL panel, cropped to 4:5, and I added a Vignette.⁣

How-to Video

After I posted this image to Instagram, I created a how to video demonstrating the process. You can watch that video, No Tripod, No ND Filters, No Problem! below:

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