Even though we ARE Nikon lovers,we are NOT affiliated with Nikon Corp. in any way.

Select your language:


Beginner's guide to waterfall photography

Andreas Voigt (spacer) on June 24, 2011

Keywords: landscape, photography, photographic, disciplines, guides, tips, tricks

Shutter speeds

The question comes up frequently in the forums. How to get that "milky" look of water in rivers, streams and waterfalls? It seems to hold a certain magic. Others may want to freeze the water to a certain extent, as if suspended in mid air. The answer to how to do it is of course in the shutter speed. But how slow or how fast? Below a set of illustrated options at a wide range of shutter speeds.

Click for enlargement

Rainbow Falls, Great Smoky Mountains National Park
1st Nikonians Photo Adventure, October 2001
Nikon F5 on Manfrotto 055 tripod, 80-200mm f/2.8D ED IF AF-S, L37C filter
Exposure: f/22, 8 seconds on Konica Impresa 50 negative film

It has been important to remember that whether one chooses a very slow shutter speed or a not so slow one, a sturdy tripod is a must for this kind of photography.

To achieve slow shutter speeds you may need to resort to Neutral Density solid filters, whether the resin rectangular ones on a holder, or the glass screw-in type making sure you choose a multicoated one to avoid nasty reflections.

* The red rectangle shows the area from where the sample images were extracted. The person (small white dot) in the upper right corner was asked to pose there to give an idea of the proportions of the waterfall.    



(4 Votes)
Andreas Voigt Andreas Voigt (spacer)

Awarded for his contributions to the Resources

Normal, 1690 posts


Back to top