Six Quick Tips on Waterfall Photography
Tip 1: Bring a Tripod!
This is so important, that it shouldn’t eve be a tip, but a necessity. Nevertheless, having a sturdy tripod with you when photographing waterfalls is a must. Tripods will stabilize your camera and help you take those long exposure shots.
Tip 2: Use a Remote
Most cameras if not all will allow for you to pair the camera with a remote (either wired or wireless if your camera has the technology). Some newer cameras, such as the Canon 70D that I primarily use has a feature where you can use your smartphone as a remote. Be mindful though that the wireless remotes tend to use more of your camera battery.
Tip 3: If You Don’t Have a Remote – Use the Timer feature
Most cameras will have a timer feature, typically 2 or a 10 second timer. I believe this feature was originally created for selfies, before the term existed, but I could be wrong. The 2 or 10 second time (I recommend the 10 second timer) will allow you to focus your camera in a spot, then allow you to remove your hands from the camera – eliminating vibrations from you shaking. Paired with long exposure, this will give you some great results.
Tip 4: Use God’s ND Filter
Well first of all if you don’t know what an ND filter is a filter you put on the front of your camera lens to reduce the amount of light coming in. This helps you create long exposure shots when the sun is blazing bright. However ND filters can be expensive (at least the good ones), so if you are short on cash and can wait… Use an overcast day to take your waterfall shots – an added benefit is that if has just rained your waterfall will be pumped full of water and full of life!
Tip 5: Sometimes it’s About Composition
If you’re shooting waterfalls you want to be mindful of composition as well. Look for leading lines and other compositional elements. Sometimes a simple shift in perspective makes a world of a difference. Take a look at the shot above. It’s a wide shot of a small waterall. Now take a look at the photo below – same waterfall, but it feels a bit more intimate and detailed. I was at the exact same location with both of these shots, I just switched from a ultra wide lens to a telephoto to get the results below.
Tip 6: Just Have Fun
I find taking pictures of waterfalls quite relaxing. Getting to them, on the other hand, may be a different story! I need to get in shape! In any case just have fun with what you’re doing and experiment. Take shots with different angles and perspectives. Shoot super wide or super tight, this is all about the creative process and capturing your vision. What you think looks best – don’t worry about what others will think. The gold standard should be the standard you set yourself!
I hope some of these tips may be useful for you. I didn’t get super detailed, but I guess that’s why I’m calling it a quick tip. If you have any questions feel free to drop me a line, I’m always happy to help. Try and guess where I took captured these images. I can tell you there’s a wide range from Hawaii to the Great Smokey Mountains!
Thanks for reading!