Learn to produce cascade shots that do justice to the real thing.
WATCH THE WEATHER
If possible, wait for a cloudy day, which simplifies your exposure by providing even light, especially from midmorning through midafternoon. On sunny days, pick a time when the whole waterfall is in shadow.
Position your camera close to the stream so the water leads your eye up to the falls. Use the environment to create a natural frame around the cascade, but avoid including too much sky, which tends to be brighter than the rest of the scene. EXPERIMENT WITH SHUTTER SPEED
The feel of the water will vary as you change the exposure length. To emphasize the main cascade’s power, get close and use a fast shutter speed (1/500 or shorter) to freeze every droplet and splash. For more distant photos, a longer shutter speed (1/4 second or more) will capture silky water. You’ll need a tripod (see below).
DRESS YOUR MODELS
Make sure any people in your shot are wearing contrasting colors, so they show up well.
TOOLS: See more waterfall images at backpacker.com/falls.
ELOWAH FALLS, COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE, OR
F/ 16, 1/2 SEC, ISO 200
TRIPOD, POLARIZING FILTER