Waterfall Photography Tips and the Cotton Candy Effect

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How do you capture that smooth, creamy effect you see in the best waterfall and whitewater rapids photographs? In this video filled with landscape photography tips, professional photographer and instructor, Layne Kennedy, takes you to the beautiful Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis for some waterfall photography tips including what he calls “the cotton candy effect.”

Photographing a waterfall in sunlight is difficult because of the blown-out reflections off the cascading whitewater and the deep shadows from the trees. Layne recommends waiting for a bright, overcast sky or even a rainy day.

He starts photographing at the top of the falls to capture a sense of place. To reproduce the waterfalls in motion, he sets the ISO at 100, f-stop at 22, and shutter speed at one second or two seconds. He also shows you the importance of using a cable release to avoid camera shake. “The long exposure is what causes the cotton candy effect on the whitewater,” he explains. After each exposure, Layne double checks to make sure the highlights are not blown out. “You can always bring up the darks in post-production, but if there is no digital data in the highlights, the image will always be overexposed.” These are just a few of the several waterfall photography tips you will find in this video.

You will learn how to do long exposures on the same frame to capture the flowing water. Layne shoots three exposures on top of each other at different settings. The resulting image reproduces the illusion of unruffled water but keeps the static trees and rocks sharp.

For more waterfall photography tips, Layne demonstrates how to employ different lenses. He says, “You’re visually presenting Minnehaha Falls. Capture all the aspects, wide to close.”

Keep your photographic eye on pro photographer, Layne Kennedy, as he shows you waterfall photography tips and the cotton candy effect.

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MORE IN THIS COURSE:

Photographing Waterfalls & Other Items in Nature – Course Preview
Waterfall Photography Tips and the Cotton Candy Effect
How to Photograph a Waterfall & Its Surrounding Vegetation
Waterfall Photography Settings for the Best Results
How to Photograph in the Rain
Creating a Moody Photograph with Long Exposure
Depth of Field in Photography
Outdoor Photography in Cloudy Conditions
Creating a Sense of Scale in Outdoor Photography
Using Backlight in Photography
Photographing Wildflowers