Hi! How are you? It’s been a while…like a month and a half since I’ve posted anything on this site and well, that’s too long. My intention is to post something new every week so I’m five weeks behind schedule. I guess I’ve been busy, or lazy.
I’m going with lazy for now.
But good news, I’m here now and I’m sharing with you some tips I’ve learned over the years of shooting waterfalls. We all love waterfalls right? That’s right. We do.
Tip Number One:
Bring a tripod. I’m the guy you see in the woods walking down the trail carrying a tripod. Every single time.
Especially, if I know I’m shooting waterfalls. Don’t assume you will find a rock or log or something else to set your camera on for that long exposure shot.
Just bring the tripod.
Tip Number Two:
Invest in a ND filter if you haven’t already. Seriously, it’s like sunglasses for your lens. It’s the only way to go if you’re trying to get long exposure shots during sunshine hours. I own several ND filters that fit various different lenses I have but if you’re just starting out and don’t want to invest in a lot of money, buy an adjustable, variable filter for your favorite lens and for your other lenses that it doesn’t fit, just hold it in front of your lens ever so carefully while your camera shoots that 3-4 second long exposure shot.
I seriously did this for 2 years.
Tip Number 3
Composition is everything. Try different angles, high, low, close up, far away, underneath, behind, looking down from the top etc…
Walk up to the waterfall and make it a point to get ten different compositions.
Here are some shots from various different angles to give you an idea of what I mean.
Tip Number Four:
Shoot long exposure. This will mean that you’ll need to go back to tip number two and get yourself a ND filter.
Unless….you can get up super early and go shoot these waterfalls when the sun isn’t as bright and harsh. I did this for a while before I purchased my first ND filter.
Long Exposure Tips:
- Tripod only…See header tip #1
- ND Filter…See header tip #2
- About 3 second exposure is plenty long enough to slow down the water.
- Try longer exposures for super milky shots.
- Try shooting in F-Stop 22.
- Turn off auto focus tracking, lock focus if possible.
- Set your drive to at least 2 seconds to avoid camera shake when pushing the shutter button or use a remote, or the app on your phone if you have that!
- Underexpose slightly.
- Weight down your tripod if its windy.
Tip Number Five:
Don’t be scared to get wet. Wear waterproof boots if possible. Bring a towel or something to dry your lens off.
Sometimes I get pretty close to the waterfall and water will splash up on my lens. Try to avoid this if you can but always make sure you have something to dry everything off with.
As most of you know, I’m a hiker. Sometimes you have to hike pretty far to get to the best waterfalls, make sure and be prepared.
Bring plenty of water and snacks. Bring extra camera batteries and SD cards. Leave in plenty of time to get back to your vehicle before it gets too dark. Let someone know where you are going just in case you don’t show back up later. Don’t rush these shots, take your time, you’ll be glad you did later!