Cap­ture Wa­ter­falls

Learn to pro­duce cas­cade shots that do jus­tice to the real thing.

Backpacker - - SKILLS - By Photo Edi­tor Genny Fuller­ton

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.

FRAME CARE­FULLY

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.

TRI­POD

SPOT:

SPECS:

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

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