How to Photograph a Waterfall & Its Surrounding Vegetation

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How to photograph a waterfall – there are many ways, according to professional photographer and instructor, Layne Kennedy. In this video on how to photograph a waterfall, he shows you how to capture images that employ alternate forms of visual design from the same angle.

He has already taken photographs from the top of Minnehaha Falls but now positions his camera downward to where he will photograph the drop-off of the waterfalls. His goal is to capture a closer version of the waterfalls from behind the wild grasses that shroud the falls. By blending the green vegetation with the cascading water in the image, he incorporates a creative design element. Layne explains, “This is the part of how to photograph a waterfall that integrates compositional design to make your photograph exciting.”

Layne demonstrates how to capture the surrounding ecosystem without having to show the entire waterfalls. Because he shoots a long exposure to start, he waits until the wind dies down to avoid swaying grasses. The resulting image shows the grasses sharp and the waterfalls soft.

“Shutter speeds play a big role in capturing waterfalls,” he says. A fast shutter speed will freeze the water action and result in a cascading waterfall full of detail. A slow shutter speed results in the velvety, cotton candy effect. The design idea is to capture images of motion and also of static from the same shooting angle.

In this video on how to photograph a waterfall, Layne also shows you the importance of using under exposure settings in order to record all the water highlights. The problem is if you blow out the highlights, you will have only white space to work with in post-production editing.

So get on board with pro shooter, Layne Kennedy, as he provides plenty of landscape photography tips including how to photograph a waterfall.

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