STE P BY STE P / Go with the flow
1 Find a fall
We came to a beautiful waterfall in the Brecon Beacons, but go wherever is convenient for you. You you can use local maps to navigate your way to nearby waterfalls, or a quick search online will reveal falls nearest to your location – even some parks have small falls.
2 Get there early
Arrive an hour or so before it gets dark to have time to set up and compose your image. Be sure to bring a bright head torch and spare batteries for it. Finding your location in the daytime is one thing, but you also need to get back home safely afterwards.
3 Go wide
A wide-angle lens is the best lens to bring for this shot. With the tripod set up in the water and levelled off, you can fit in the whole scene in front of you. This is a lot easier than having to readjust the entire camera and tripod every time a stick goes awry.
4 Choose your angle
We started out by shooting in the middle of the river, but the sticks’ paths didn’t look that exciting. So we moved to the water’s edge to allow the sticks to flow past the lens, which accentuated the ebbing and flowing of the water as the current pulled the glow sticks past.
5 Go long
Use a long shutter speed to get smooth water and light trails. Start the exposure just as your friend lets go of the glow sticks, until the sticks have passed you. If you’re using Bulb mode, use a remote release to avoid moving the camera with your hand.
6 Delay if needed
If you don’t have a remote shutter release cable, use exposure delay mode. Hidden in your Nikon’s Custom Setting menu, under Shooting/Display, turn Exposure Delay Mode on. Then when you press your shutter it’ll delay the release for a short time before taking the shot.