You can’t expect something to be accepted unless it has a certain amount of polish. That applies to the digital images as well; you can’t expect an entire crowd going ooh and aah… over a bland piece of photo. For that, you need the piece to preserve as much as detail as the original natural beauty and a few basic techniques can definitely come handy to earn you the accolades that you deserve.
So let’s start by preparing the grounds for shooting a waterfall properly. The background color is of an immense importance here; it should be the same as the color decided for creating the border. Black rules the roost in this regard but other suitable alternatives could be any other dark shade. The image size then needs to be increased (you need a very high resolution picture for that), but first, a waterfall needs to be shot properly.
- How to shoot waterfalls?
Assuming you have all the equipment required i.e. a tripod, a polarizer, wide-angle lenses and a ND filter, set the shutter speed between 0.5 and 4 seconds. The polarizer shall eliminate spectral highlights with light blockage. To obtain the required shutter speed, the ND filter shall be of great use.
- Shooting waterfalls and silky water effect.
The solution to this is not keeping the shutter open for a longer span. The reasons behind are the changing detail of the flowing water and the sensor. The longer the shutter remains open, more accurate is the averaging of the detail by the sensor. Upon substantial exposure, the detail shall average out into a blur and a smooth and silky band. And if you don’t want that silky effect, just cut out on the shutter time.
- Tips on shooting waterfalls
Since waterfalls are not run-of-the-mill products, therefore, a categorization is must prior to shooting. The shooting technique shall vary according to the type. The categorizations are done according to the water volume and the presence of the amount of rock and are:
- Low flow, high rock: Prettiest waterfall shots are made of these. The longer time the shutter requires falling, more graceful and silky is the image.
- High flow, low rock: These are the toughest to shoot since a slow shutter speed transforms them into a straight and white line.
However, you must also remember: Since shooting waterfalls is the other side of loss of detail, a dreamy and surrealistic effect can be obtained without putting in any muscle.