So you’ve seen water pictures that you love. They have the flowing water in them and you are amazed. Then you say to yourself, how did the photographer do that? Your water photos look like this…splashing water everywhere. You play around with some different settings, but it still doesn’t work the way you want it to. You are frustrated. Try using these waterfall photography tips to get better water images with the flow of the water shining through!
- Tripod. Using a tripod for water shots is a must, if you want that flowing look. The tripod will allow you to have a longer shutter speed to create the flowing effect of the water. Without one, your shot will be a blur. In a pinch, use a rock, bench or other solid object in the area to hold your camera steady. It will make a huge difference.
- Neutral density filter. If the light is bright, it will be very hard to get the water to have a flowing look and have the correct exposure. The neutral density filter will permit you to keep the shutter open longer without overexposing the image. Try to photograph in the early hours or later in the afternoon/evening. Get to know the area and if it will be shaded at some point, take advantage of that light.
- Longer shutter speed. Use full manual mode to give yourself a longer shutter speed. Keeping the shutter open longer will create the flow of the water vs. the splash. It doesn’t necessarily need to be several seconds, but under 1/20 works better. Test it out and try different speeds to see the result. Different light situations will lend to different numbers.
Have you tried doing waterfall or beach shots and not gotten the result you wanted? What’s the biggest question you have regarding water photos?