Photographing waterfalls can be challenging at times but get it right and you can produce some fantastic images.
Loving in the north of England I’m lucky to have a varied choice of falls to visit with the North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales on my doorstep.
I’m a big fan of the morning and evening sun as most landscape photographers are but what do you do when it’s an overcast but bright day, head for the trees and forrests of course. These conditions are absolutely the best you can have for photographing scenes like this. You absolutely do not want bright sunny days as the harsh light will cast unsightly shadaows accros the soft smooth tranquil feeling that we are trying to emulate.
The time of year too has a dramatic effect on the image and my favourite time is Autumn.
I will also use a polorizer to enhance the colours and to reduce reflections. Using a polorizer in overcast conditions is a is a brilliant technique as you can polorize in any direction because light is coming from all directions due to the overcast sky. This wouldn’t work if it was a bright sunny day.
Experimenting with exposure time too is another key to inject emotions in to the shot. Use a fast shutter speed of 1/2000sec to freeze action such as water droplets, be aware though as an increase in iso will be needed which may increase noise in the image. If like these images you like a dreamy silky smooth look an exposure of around a 2 seconds is all that’s needed, any more then several seconds though I think the water looks too much like a fog, I still like to retain some details in the flow of the water. Another piece of kit too is essential and that is a tripod. This will help keep everything still as its necessary with long exposures, your image will be blurry with out one. A microfiber cloth to is handy to wipe away any spray/mist that is undoubtedly going to end up costing the front ellement.
So get out and try this technique on an overcast day when you think it’s not possible to get a good image, these are the conditions I look for.
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