How to Improve Your Waterfall Photography

Capturing the ethereal beauty of waterfalls remains a timeless pursuit for photographers, offering a blend of technical challenge and artistic expression. This helpful video dives into this subject, sharing insights based on extensive experience with waterfall photography, underlining its significance not just for its aesthetic appeal but for the technical acumen it demands.

Coming to you from Jason Friend Photography, this instructive video takes us through the meticulous process of photographing The Cauldron Falls in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Friend begins with a personal anecdote about his first ever published photo, a waterfall in New Zealand, setting the stage for a discussion on the allure and technique of capturing such natural phenomena. He emphasizes the importance of scouting for the perfect angle handheld before committing to a tripod setup, advocating for the tripod's role in achieving the desired milky water effect. This approach underscores the blend of spontaneity and precision in landscape photography, illustrating how previsualization and technical readiness can coalesce to capture stunning natural scenes.

Furthermore, Friend introduces a simple yet effective tip: using a polarizing filter to enhance waterfall images. He demonstrates the filter's dual benefits—slowing down water to achieve a silky texture and reducing reflections to control highlights—offering a practical solution to common challenges faced when photographing water in motion. The video details the adjustment of camera settings, such as ISO, aperture, and shutter speed, in conjunction with the polarizing filter to optimize exposure and composition, providing a clear, actionable strategy to elevate their imagery. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Friend. 

And if you really want to dive into landscape photography, check out our latest tutorial, "Photographing the World: Japan With Elia Locardi!" 

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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1 Comment

Very interesting as we have a number of waterfalls and fast water in the Appalachian Mountains in the Southeast. He points out some ideas for the polarizing filter and the ISO. However, with years of public speaking and one-on-one contact with people, I wish people wouldn't talk with their head turned away from the listener(s). The sound on the video was hard to hear but I turned on CC as a crutch.