Waterfalls are one of those natural elements that take your breath away. They’re always entrancing and stunning. So how do you transfer what your eyes see and your heart feels into a photograph? Nature photographer extraordinaire, Steve Jones, has some information to take your waterfall photos to a new level.
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On photographing waterfalls, from Steve Jones:
“This technique can make any waterfall or cascading creek look amazing. The idea is to take a picture of a flowing body of water with a long exposure, so the water becomes a smooth blur. To be able to take a long exposure without over-exposing the photo, you will need to use a few tricks to reduce the amount of light entering the camera:”
It will work best during early mornings, late evenings or deep in the shadow of the woods. Don’t try this in bright sunlight.
Use the lowest ISO setting available.
Use a high f-number (10 or even larger) to minimize the amount of light reaching the sensor. As a bonus, this will increase your depth of field so that everything (except the blurred water) is sharp. Experiment with a few settings. You may find that as you increase the f-number you eventually lose sharpness due to diffraction.
You may wish to utilize a neutral density or polarizing filter to further reduce the amount of light that reaches the sensor. When using a point-and-shoot camera with a small lens, I sometimes even use a pair of sunglasses. You don’t need fancy equipment to generate unique photos.
“When you’re ready to take the photo, be sure the camera is still. A tripod is always best, but you may have success by placing the camera firmly on top of a stump. To avoid movement when you release the shutter, use a remote trigger or the trigger-delay feature on your camera.”