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  • Waterfalls

    I would like to know the settings to take perfect waterfall pictures

  • #2
    GREG - Canon 60D with 10-22, 18-55 & 55-250.
    My 500px
    "You can't be young forever, but you can always be immature." - Larry Andersen.


    • #3
      ^^^ What Krusty said.

      Another thing to keep in mind is that there isn't a set of "perfect settings" to capture a waterfall. If you want smooth water, you need long shutter speeds. If you want crisp water, you need very fast shutter speeds. If your scene has a lot of depth, you need a smaller aperture for greater depth of field. If it's not so deep, you can use a medium aperture. If it's cloudy, everything will change. If it's really sunny, everything will change.

      Just like there is no single "good brush" to use to make great oil paintings, there is no "equationary" set of settings for a particular scene. It all depends on the environment when you arrive and the artistic vision you have in mind for the scene.

      Instead of thinking in terms of settings and 'standard work', think in terms of artistic vision and what you want to capture and then use your settings to accomplish it.

      Hope that helps!

      Landscapes and Light Painting, Nikon and Pentax equipment
      Eagle Vista Studio - Light Painting - Getting Started With Sunrise Photography
      "Anybody can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple." Charlie Mingus


      • #4
        I'd also recommend that weather plays an important part. Overcast is nearly essential. I have some good waterfall shots on my landscape photography website


        • #5
          +1 to photographic vision being important. I have shot many waterfalls in light ranging from cloudy during heavy rain, to bright sunlight. I enjoy the look I can get where the water looks like silky clouds. That requires long exposures, ranging from 1/4 second to 4 or 5 seconds or longer, depending on the light. I also use an 8x neutral density filter quite often as it helps to cut down the light and yields longer exposures. In addition, I may also throw on a circular polarizer as well to cut down on reflections and provide even more exposure time. I try to use the lowest ISO possible on my Nikon D300s, which is 100. Apertures on my lenses are usually f16 to f22. I place my camera on a rock solid tripod and use an electronic cable release, with the mirror locked up to prevent any vibration. Without a tripod when I was in Juneau, AK, I was driving in a rainstorm on End of Road. I came across several waterfalls next to the road. I had a plastic rain cover for my camera and balanced it on the car trunk on top of a towel. I held it still and shot at f16 for 2 seconds, ISO 100. I took 12 exposures and 2 were really good. So you can improvise if needed, but the key is long exposures and small apertures.