How to Get Great Photos of Waterfalls

The keys to success: slow shutter speed and soft lighting

by Jim Zuckerman

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© Jim Zuckerman
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In my opinion, waterfalls look best when they are photographed with slow shutter speeds. When the water is falling very fast, such as this waterfall in Torres del Paine National Park, Chile, use a shutter speed not faster than 1/2 second. This image was taken at 2.5 seconds. Note that the water appears virtually without definition.

The image was taken with a tripod, of course. Don't make the mistake of using a slow shutter without a firm support. What makes these types of shots successful is the juxtaposition of the blurred water against tack-sharp surroundings.

Also note the soft lighting in the picture. Direct sunlight would have ruined the shot.

More information on Jim Zuckerman...

- Jim Z teaches many online courses at BetterPhoto's digital photography school, including Low Light Photography, Techniques of Natural Light Photography and Perfect Digital Exposure

- Also, Jim contributed to two how-to books co-authored by Jim Miotke and Kerry Drager: The BetterPhoto Guide to Photographing Light and The BetterPhoto Guide to Creative Digital Photography.



About Author Jim Zuckerman


Author: Jim  Zuckerman

To learn more about photography, explore the photography classes offered here at BetterPhoto.