Waterfalls have always been my favorite subjects to photograph. Below you can find my top ten list of my favorite waterfalls.
- Cedar Falls (Hocking Hills, OH)
- ValleyFallsState Park (WV)
- CucumberFalls (Ohiopyles State Park PA)
- Blackwater Falls State Park (WV)
- Ohiopyles Falls (Ohiopyles State Park PA)
- Broken Rock Falls (Hocking Hills, OH)
- UpperFalls at Old Mans Cave (Hocking Hills, OH)
- Boord Nature Preserve (Layman OH) Picture above
- Hayden Falls (DublinOH)
- Falls of Hills Creek, (WV)
Here are some tips I put together to help you with waterfall photography.
- Use a tripod
- Photograph the waterfall at sunrise, sunset, or an overcast day. To avoid harsh light. The worst time to photograph a waterfall is when half of the falls is in the shade and the other is sunlit. Your camera will not be able to compensate for the contrast.
- Use good composition, remember the rule of Thirds. Walk around the waterfall and look for different angles and camera positions. Shoot at an angle instead of directly in front of the falls. Zoom in and capture small areas instead of trying to capture the entire falls. Include foreground elements such as rock or trees.
- Use a slow shutter speed Start with a shutter speed of a few seconds. When photographing waterfalls, finding the right shutter speed could take a lot of experimentation, but a speed of 2 seconds is usually a good place to start.
- Use a polarizing filter – adjust your polarizing filter to maximize its effect. just rotate the filter and watch for the reflections to disappear (which should also add more saturated to your final image).
- Make sure the camera is level
- Use a small aperture – This is necessary for two reasons: it helps you get a longer shutter and it helps keep everything in sharp focus.
- Use the lowest ISO. This also helps you get a slower shutter, lower ISO speeds will produce less noise which will allow you to capture a more dynamic range. Since you will be using a slower shutter speed, your image will be more sensitive to noise, so a low ISO will help reduce the noise.
The most common problem in waterfall photography is blown out highlights. Even when shooting in good light see tip number 2, you’ll probably still get some blown out spot on the waterfall. Adjust your exposure and use your histogram and cameras highlight warning to minimize the blown out areas.
These tips are by no means a complete guide to photographing waterfalls, but it should be a good start.
So, get out and shoot some waterfalls!
Please feel free to comment on my post,
You can see more of my photography on my Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/baw26/ or if you are interested in purchasing one of my photos go to http://fineartamerica.com/art/all/Bruce+Wunderlich/all