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How to Capture the Magnificence of a Waterfall in Your Photos

Posted by Jacob Hawthorne on

A waterfall is one of the most miraculous pieces of scenery. If you are photographing one, you will want to capture it in all of its glory.

However, a waterfall is not the easiest thing to photograph. The ongoing movement as well as the way it reacts to light could be problematic. Here are some tips that will ensure you get terrific waterfall photos every time.

Use a Slow Shutter Speed

A slow shutter speed will make the water look smooth…and the slower the speed the better. For best results, set your camera to a speed of several seconds or longer. This will create a ghosting effect that will make water look blurry, which is exactly what you should be going for.

Use a Tripod

When using a low shutter speed, your camera will be extremely sensitive to shake. While you can set your camera on a stone or another stationary object, a tripod will offer the most stability and allow you to move around to capture different angles.

Increase the Aperture

Increasing the f/number, or aperture, decreases the amount of light coming into the camera through the lens. It can make up for shutter speeds that are too high.

Use a Neutral Density Filter

If you have decreased your shutter speed to the lowest number possible, and increased the aperture to the highest number possible, and are still not getting great results it means there is still too much light entering the lens. The best way to decrease light at this point is to use a Natural Density (ND) filter. These filters are specially made to let a small amount of light into the lens to decrease shutter speed.

There are many types of ND filters out there and they vary in the amount of light they let in. There is a number at the end of the filter that represents the amount of light the filter stops. So an ND 0.3 filter blocks one stop of light while an ND 1.8 blocks 6 stops of light.

If you use a ND filter, it will lower the shutter speed according to how many stops of light it blocks.

Use Wide Angle and Telephoto Lenses

A waterfall can splash water on your camera which can ruin your pictures and damage your equipment. A telephoto lens will allow you to zoom in from a distance so you don’t get wet.

Wide angle lenses will be helpful in that they will allow you to capture the entirety of the scene including the fall and the natural elements that surround it.

Getting a great shot of a waterfall isn’t easy. The tips in this article will help you get great results every time. What challenging nature shots do you capture easily?


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