JAMES’S TOP 10 TIPS
1 Cloudy weather
Overcast days are perfect for waterfalls as they provide more gentle lighting, allow longer exposures and reduce the chance of bright hotspots appearing in rushing white water.
2 Heavy rainfall
Waterfalls look their best when there has been heavy rain. Try to avoid periods of drought where the waterfalls may look less than spectacular.
3 Shoot RAW
RAW isn’t an acronym, it literally means the ‘raw’ data from the camera sensor. Though they are larger, they give you added editing flexibility.
4 HDR and bracketing
To boost the dynamic range of your images you could try an ‘HDR’ (High Dynamic Range) image. This is done by bracketing to take extra over- and under-exposed images and then merging them together for a wider range of tones.
5 Exposure compensation
When using a semi-automatic mode, such as Aperture priority, the camera works out the shutter speed based on your metering mode. You can, however, override this by adding some positive or negative exposure compensation until the brightness of your scene looks just right.
6 Block the eyepiece
If you use a Canon EOS DSLR be sure to use the eyepiece shield on your camera strap to stop light entering the viewfinder during long exposures which could result in flare.
7 Wellies & waders
When shooting waterfalls James always heads out in a pair of Muckmaster wellies. To get the best shots you often need to be standing in the waterfall, rather than shooting from the sides.
8 Use your lens tripod collar
Many telephoto lenses have a tripod attachment collar and ‘foot’. When using these be sure to attach your tripod to this for better balance.
9 Turn off IS
Image Stabilization is great for reducing shake in handheld shots, but when using a tripod these systems can try to correct for blur that isn’t there so it’s best to switch it off for peace of mind.
Wipe away splashes
When working close to rushing water and cascading falls you may end up with a few water splashes on your lens or filters. Be sure to check and carefully wipe away any water with a microfibre cloth before you take your shot.