Long-exposure photography can be fun and challenging at the same time. Taking long-exposures of moving water can blur and create a milky effect while stationary objects are sharp. The ideal weather for taking photos of waterfalls is during a cloudy day. This will reduce hard shadows giving you even light throughout the scene.
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, f/22 @ 17 mm, 1s, ISO 100
Without a sturdy tripod your photos can be out of focus. Purchasing a good tripod will give you a life time of camera stability as you pursue your adventures in long-exposure photography. Here's a black and white photo I took of a waterfall in West Virginia. This photo was taken with the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, f/14 @ 17 mm, 15s, ISO 100 with a variable neutral density and a polarizer filter. Using a polarizer filter is a must for taking waterfall photos. The filter will cut down the glare on the rocks and water letting you see the rocks under the moving water.
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, f/8 @ 27 mm, 1/3, ISO 100
The faster the water current, the faster the shutter speed. The ideal shutter speed is between 5 to 4 seconds. While some photographers like taking photos of water that captures every drop, others like the milky effect. I've always liked the milky effect on running water.
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, f/8 @ 17 mm, 3.2s, ISO 100
To minimize the camera shake while taking long-exposures you can use a cable release for your camera. I like to use my cameras internal timer instead of a cable release. That's one extra piece of equipment I don't have to worry about when I'm trekking through the forest.
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, f/2.8 @ 100 mm, 1/125, ISO 100
Taking a macro lens with you while you're walking through the forest can be fun... you may come across a beautiful flower on the way to that breathtaking waterfall.
In the next waterfall blog post we'll talk about the different types of clothing that can be used during your next waterfall excursion.