How To Photograph Waterfalls

Waterfall photography tips: Learn how to photograph waterfalls.

How to Photograph Waterfalls - Photography Tips

Capture the movement

The effect of flowing water in a photograph really changes with different shutter speeds. To freeze the water and capture its dramatic power; use a fast shutter speed (1/500 or shorter). To achieve lovely flowing, silky looking water; use a slow shutter speed (1/4th second or longer).

Only blur the water

If you are using a slow shutter speed to blur the water with a long exposure, you will need to use a tripod. When using longer shutter speeds on a tripod you also need to use a cable release/remote (or set the 2-second timer) on your camera to get a sharp shot

Embrace the clouds

Photographing a waterfall on a sunny day can be hard, direct sunlight on the water can result in an uneven exposure; cloudy days offer better conditions and use of longer shutter speeds. When waterfalls are in the bush, they can also often be in complete shade in the early morning and late afternoon on bright days.

Frame the waterfall

Make sure you include some still subjects like rocks in your composition, so that the whole shot is not just moving water. A strong foreground of rocks and flowing water can also help add depth in the photograph, leading the viewer’s eye to the waterfall behind.

Want to learn how to photograph waterfalls? Join us on our Long Exposure Masterclass in the Bay of Islands or our  Weekend Tongariro Photography Workshop

About the Author
Richard Young is a full-time landscape and wildlife photographer based in Wellington. He has been guiding groups of photographers in New Zealand since 2010 and founded New Zealand Photography Workshops in 2013.

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