Sunday, August 28, 2011

Top Tips for Photograping Waterfalls - From Hal "Hurricane" Schmitt and Yours Truly

Photographs by Rick Sammon
"Hurricane Hal," formerly known as Bull Schmitt from the Light Photographic Workshops, is here in Croton on Hudson, New York shooting with me - because Hurricane Irene washed out his B&H seminar.

Today we photographed waterfalls - large and small. Here are a few tips, from Hurricane Hal and me, for capturing the beauty of flowing water.

• Use a tripod - to steady your camera during long exposures.
• Shoot at 1 second or more to blur moving water.
• Pack a ND (Neutral Density) filter, which will let you shoot at slow shutter speeds in bright light.
• A polarizing filter can also reduce the amount of light entering the lens.
• Use your camera's self-timer or a cable release to avoid camera shake during a long exposure.
• Check your histogram to check your exposure.
• Bring a lens cloth to keep your lens clean.
• Use Live View to check your scene - composition, focus and exposure. Zoom in for precise focus.

Here is a link to our waterfalls tips' movie.

Here is a fun link to my double rainbow movie.

Hurricane Hal and I hope to see you at the California Photo Fest in October in California.

Explore the light,

P.S. Here's a hand-held pano I took this morning. Another double rainbow. What does it mean?

Also, we shoot here during my Croton Creative workshop.
Five-image pano. Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 17-40mm lens. Stitched in Photoshop's Photomerge.
Here are some pano tips from Hurrican Hal.


Anmmar said...

THank you very much for sharing these tips. I'm doing some research currently about shooting water falls.
This is very helpful.

Tom Baker said...

Another tip, though maybe this should fall under the "cheat" category is to use HDR when shooting a stream or waterfall. In this case bracket the scene with a pretty wide bracket range and then combine them - trying to keep the look natural and not tone-mapped. When the HDR software does it's thing the water takes on that silky look while not blowing out the rest of your scene. It isn't the same as a good ND filter but if you don't have one handy it can save a shot.

Glad you guys are safe.

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This is just valuable information! Thanks for sharing your knowledge and tricks on how to shoot falls. Your photos look awesome!