Water is a tremendously attractive element in general and for people who love photography in particular. But this is a love-hate relationship. If you have tried to photograph water in any of its forms, you will know what I'm talking about. Photographing water is not easy, not easy. It is usually tremendously difficult especially if you don't know how. But when you get it it's very (but very rewarding), it should be almost as much as finding the needle in the haystack . So today I bring you 11 tips for photographing waterfalls and achieve impressive images. Jokes aside, when you dive into this ocean of photography sometimes you jump to try things without having a clue. You may be one of those people with a special gift who gets the photos the first time (congratulations if this is your case) but the normal thing is that you fail to infinity, get frustrated and gradually learn from mistakes. Or that you have the great idea of reading articles like these that give you half the work done. Either way is valid. If you are here it is because you are one of the latter or because you do not want frustration to overcome you . In any case, I welcome you and tell you that you have made the right decision, because with these tips you will see that everything is much easier.


If you wear the right equipment, your results when photographing waterfalls can improve a lot. It is true that we say countless times that the team does not make the photographer, that you can achieve impressive photos with a normal camera, but of course, we talk about being able to move, tell a story, a brutal composition ... In this case we have a waterfall and we want to enhance it So the margin for the artistic and emotional part is quite limited and we must control the technical part a little more. So you will need:
  • Camera that allows modifying the exposure time. If you want to achieve the silky effect in the waterfall, you will have no choice but to play with the firing speed.
  • Wide angle lens, allowing you to cover more landscape and make a great composition.
  • Filter. To achieve silky effect in bright light, you'll need a filter neutral density.
  • Tripod. For long exposure speeds a tripod is a must . If you are hiking and cannot carry the tripod because the road is narrow, you will have to find a very (I insist, very) stable surface where to place your camera. But notice that the results will not be the same as with a tripod specially designed for it.
  • Remote Switch. In long exposures it is really important that there is no movement to avoid shaking the image, not even the one you make with your fingers when pressing the shutter button. Either take the photo with a remote shutter release or activate the camera timer for at least two seconds to give you time to withdraw your hand
(If you want to freeze the movement you will not need these last two).


To achieve that effect in which the water seems like a silk blanket, you need, as I have already mentioned, to take long exposures, or what is the same, to have the shutter more open time. In this way what happens is that much more light enters, so a bright day will make your photo overexposed. This is a mistake that many of us have gone through (including the first one), especially those of us who jump into the pool as soon as we have our first SLR in hand without investigating a little before . Well, this rookie error is easily solvable. Either you use a filter or choose the best time that is just before sunrise and when it is about to get dark. Cloudy days that act as a "filter" are also valid.


I'm not asking you to clean the windows at home before going to photograph cataracts, but if you want some very sharp photos, don't forget to give the lenses and filters (if you use them) a take with you.


Your photography can change a lot depending on where you shoot from and the elements you include in it. You can frame vertically if you want to focus all your interest on a narrow waterfall, you can include some elements that guide your gaze towards the waterfall, take advantage of a bridge near the waterfall to photograph it directly from the front (as in the image), shoot from a point very low or very high ... There are infinite possibilities with which you can play and achieve a different or more attractive waterfall. As beautiful as it seems to you "in situ" when it comes to two dimensions, it loses a lot of charm and you will have to compensate with a good composition.
Take care of the composition


These are the settings that will help you photograph cataracts successfully.
  • To achieve the silky effect you will have to use a slow shutter speed . You can start testing with a couple of seconds and readjust according to the result you want.
  • Unless you want to play with depth of field when composing, most often you use a large depth of field (high "f" number). It is the most used in landscapes so that all the focused planes come out and, in addition, it will help you compensate for the amount of light that will enter with long exposure because what you do with this is to close the diaphragm.
  • Since you will already have enough light when taking a long exposure, set the ISO value to a minimum and you will avoid noise that affects the quality and sharpness of your image.


We are very heavy, but still do not know the advantages of shooting in RAW ? For starters you can not worry about the white balance for example.


Ideally, you should avoid autofocusing, especially if you use the filter, as it probably won't work very well. In this case use this trick: focus manually and then place the filter.


Including people in your photography will help to size the waterfall and leave your viewer open-mouthed.
Including people will size your waterfall


If there is a radiant sun, you cannot wait until nightfall, you have no tripod, no filter, and nothing at all ... do not leave without immortalizing the waterfall. If you have found that beauty suddenly do not come home without a piece of it. The silky effect is very nice, yes, but freezing the movement of water can also be very interesting, especially if you manage to transmit the fury of the water when it falls. In addition, with a bright sun you can achieve something that without its rays is impossible to achieve ... the rainbow! Two natural beauties together = double beauty, don't you think? Always look for the positive side of things, in photography as in life itself, there always is
Two wonders of nature together


If you can camp nearby (better with company ) you will have the opportunity to photograph a waterfall accompanied by stars. A really beautiful show. After seeing this photo, you surely want to go camping near waterfalls, right?
Mantle of Silk Under Mantle of Stars


It is not that you have it at home stored in the backpack, if I write this article it is to encourage you to go out to photograph, but I have no choice but to advise you to take good care of it, since the camera and the humidity (and already I'm not telling you the water!) They are declared enemies. Use very high tripods or surfaces somewhat away from splashes. And take care of yourself too, don't risk your life to get a photo! Today I am not going to tell you to run away to put into practice what you just read because it is not easy to have a waterfall next to your house, but I do want you to look for a place nearby where there is one (you do not have to go to Niagara ) and plan an excursion. If you do not practice this reading will not have been of any use because you will forget how long it takes for the waters to reach the ocean What you can do is fill yourself with inspiration. If you liked the article, be sure to recommend it, I will be forever grateful to you! Until next time!
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