3 Quick Tips on How to Photograph Waterfalls

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Duration:   1:55   mins

How to photograph waterfalls. It’s a challenge, but the results can be spectacular. In this free video, world renowned outdoor photographer Ian Plant travels to coastal Lake Superior where waterfalls abound. He advocates three techniques in how to photograph waterfalls. First, he recommends a polarizing lens filter to reduce glare and improve the colors and contrast.

Second, he advises using long exposures to create a silken effect on the rushing water. Your best bet is to start with a half second and increase the exposure times as alternatives to achieve your desired effect. Third, he suggests you wear waterproof waders in order to immerse yourself in the environment and optimize your compositional perspectives. Join pro photographer Ian Plant for valuable tips and techniques on how to photograph waterfalls.

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5 Responses to “3 Quick Tips on How to Photograph Waterfalls”

  1. Mike

    A good quick introduction, but you say to hold on the the camera at all times when in the water, yet you don’t do that yourself!

  2. LS

    Often in discussions about shooting waterfalls the recommended filter is an ND filter vs a CP. Am I right in that the CP would be the first choice assuming one can achieve the long exposure with proper ISO and aperture?
    Would you stack a CP over a ND?
    Any other thought on th subject? Thank you.

    • Customer Service


      Like almost everything in photography, there are no hard and fast rules in regards to using a Neutral Density (ND) filter versus a
      Circular Polarizer (CPL) filter. There are however differences. ND’s recommended because they do one thing, they cut the light hitting
      the sensor and thereby allow for a more extended exposure which creates the classic creamy moving water effect.

      CPL’s also cut light, but their primary function is of course to polarize the light. That process often gives you richer blue skies and limits
      reflections and glare.

      If you have both I’d say use both, see what you like best. It might be in some situations, depending on the light, they act and look much
      the same, while in other lighting situations the results will look entirely different, in either case, feel free to experiment.

      Yes, you can stack an ND and a CPL but it would not be my first choice as you will be shooting through another layer of glass and odd things
      can happen with that much glass over a lens, but on the other hand that effect may work for you, so go for it.

      Happy Shooting!

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  3. Bill

    You know, I paid for a membership. I don’t appreciate having to sit through an ad before I watch one of your videos. If you can’t stop this, I will NOT renew my membership!

    • Customer Service

      Good morning Bill,

      Thank you for contacting us. This video is a Free video, some of our Free videos have 15 second ads at the beginning of the video. All of our Premium and Gold video do not, which are the videos you are receiving with your Gold membership. I apologize for any frustration.


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