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How to Photograph Waterfalls: Tips for Capturing the Perfect Shot

Waterfalls are one of nature’s most beautiful creations. Capturing their beauty on camera can be a challenge, but with the right tips you can create stunning photos that will amaze your friends and family. In this article, we will discuss how to photograph waterfalls and provide some tips for capturing the perfect shot. So whether you’re an experienced photographer or just starting out, read on to learn how to take amazing waterfall photos!

Tips For Waterfall Photography

Below are some of our top tips when it comes to waterfall photography:

Using A Good Tripod

As anyone who has ever tried to take a picture of a waterfall knows, getting the perfect shot can be difficult.

The water is constantly in motion, and the mist created by the falling water can make it hard to get a clear view. One way to overcome these challenges is to use a tripod.

A tripod will help to stabilize the camera, making it easier to get a clear shot. In addition, using a tripod will allow you to use a longer exposure time, which will help to capture the movement of the water. With a little practice, you can use a tripod to take stunning waterfall photography.

Set Your ISO Low

When shooting waterfall photography, one important factor to consider is your ISO setting. ISO stands for International Organization for Standardization, and is a measure of a camera’s sensitivity to light. The lower the ISO number, the less sensitive the camera is to light, and the longer the exposure time can be. This is important when photographing waterfalls, as you will want to use a long exposure time to capture the movement of the water. A low ISO also helps to reduce noise in the image. Therefore, when shooting waterfall photos, it is best to set your ISO as low as possible.

Use A Larger Aperture

When shooting waterfall photos, it’s important to set your aperture to a high number. This will give you a longer shutter speed, which means the water will look smooth and silky.

It also means that you’ll have less of the background in focus, which can be helpful if there are distracting elements in the scene.

Finally, using a higher aperture will help to ensure that your photo is properly exposed, as waterfalls can be tricky to expose correctly. So next time you’re headed out to shoot some waterfalls, remember to set your aperture high!

Multiple Exposures

Although it may take more effort, using multiple exposures for waterfall photographs often leads to a better final product. Below are a few reasons why this technique is used by many professionals.

Focusing Stacking

Waterfalls can be difficult to photograph because they are constantly in motion. This can make it hard to get a clear shot, as the water will often appear blurred.

One way to overcome this challenge is to focus stack your images. This involves taking multiple photos of the same scene, each with a different point of focus.

The photos can then be combined in post-processing to create a single image with everything in sharp focus. This is an advanced technique, but if you’re up for the challenge, it can lead to some stunning waterfall photography.

Exposure Bracketing

Another reason to use multiple exposures is exposure bracketing. This involves taking three or more photos of the same scene, each with a different exposure.

This technique is often used when photographing high-contrast scenes, such as sunsets or waterfalls. By taking multiple exposed photos, you can create an image that has a greater dynamic range, and is less likely to be overexposed or underexposed.

Motion Blur

One of the most popular reasons to use multiple exposures is to create motion blur. This involves taking multiple photos of the same scene, each with a different shutter speed.

The photos can then be combined in post-processing to create an image with a sense of movement. This is a great way to capture the feeling of waterfalls, as the long exposure will make the water appear silky and smooth.

If you’re interested in trying this technique, be sure to use a tripod, as even the slightest movement can ruin the effect.

Protecting Gear From Water

Of course, when photographing waterfalls, it’s important to protect your gear from the elements. Water can be very damaging to camera equipment, so be sure to take precautions to keep your gear safe.

One way to do this is to use a waterproof camera case. These cases are designed to keep your camera dry, even if it’s submerged in water.

Another option is to use a rain cover. This is a piece of fabric that goes over your camera and lens, and helps to keep them dry in the event of rain or spray from the waterfall.

Finally, be sure to keep an eye on the forecast before heading out to photograph waterfalls. If the weather is looking bad, it’s best to wait for another day.

Don’t Shoot Overly Long Exposures

While long exposures can lead to some beautiful waterfall photography, it’s important not to overdo it. If the exposure is too long, the water will begin to look unnatural, or foggy”, and the photo will lose its impact.

A good rule of thumb is to keep your exposures around one second or less. Of course, this will vary depending on the speed of the water, but as a general rule, shorter is better.

Use A Zoom Or Telephoto Lens

While wide-angle lenses are great for landscape photography, they’re not always the best choice for waterfalls. This is because wide-angles can make the waterfall appear smaller than it actually is.

Instead, try using a zoom or telephoto lens. These lenses will help to capture the scale of the waterfall, and can also be used to focus in on specific details.

If you don’t have a zoom or telephoto lens, don’t worry. You can always crop your photos in post-processing to achieve a similar effect.

Find The Right Angle

One of the most important aspects of waterfall photography is finding the right angle. This can be a challenge, as you often need to scramble over rocks or wade through water to get into position.

But the effort is worth it, as the right angle can make all the difference in a photo. Be sure to experiment with different angles, and don’t be afraid to get creative.

Don’t Place The Sky In Your Composition

When photographing waterfalls, it’s important to avoid placing the sky in your composition. This is because the bright sky can quickly become overexposed, and ruin the photo.

Instead, try to compose your shots so that the sky is not visible. This will help to keep the photo looking natural, and prevent any unwanted overexposure.


Waterfalls are one of the most popular subjects for photographers of all levels. By following these tips, you can capture some stunning waterfall photographs of your own. Just remember to protect your gear, and don’t overdo it with the long exposures!