NZ Photo Info - Photography Tips and Techniques - Photography Directory

Silky Waterfalls


Ever wondered how to get that silky smooth looking waterfall with nice vibrant colours? Well, it's not as difficult as you might think.

The main thing that you need to do is get the shutter speed down low. This particular image was shot at 1/5 sec. If you are shooting with low shutter speeds you will also need to have a good tripod or some other means of supporting your camera. You can use a cable release, or for this type of photography the shutter delay timer on your camera will work just as well.

Getting the shutter speed down low can be difficult during the day, but is easily achieved with the aid of a filter. You have a couple of choices, an ND (Neutral Density) filter - this basically reduces the amount of light hitting the sensor (or film) of your camera.

Or alternatively, what I have done in this image is to use a circular polarizing filter. This results in a loss of around 1.5 - 2 stop of light (this helps gets the shutter speed low enough). A smaller aperture and lower ISO also helped, this was shot at F10 and 100ISO. The added benefit of using a circular polarizing filter is that it also enhances the colours and reduces reflection from the water.

See a larger version of the Franz Josef Glacier - Waterfall at our gallery.

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