How to Photograph Waterfalls

Waterfalls: the only thing we love more than exploring them is posting pictures of them captioned with TLC lyrics. But when you only have your trusty phone at your disposal, how do you make sure those snaps best show off your incredible views? And where are the best places to find these natural wonders?

Here’s our guide to getting the perfect shot the next time you go chasing waterfalls.

Best weather for photographing waterfalls

While you might think a sunny day is ideal weather for locking in those memories and getting the perfect shot of a waterfall, that may not always be the case. Bright sunlight can sometimes result in the water looking like one big white blob, with none of the detail you can see in person. The ideal weather to photograph waterfalls with an is actually more overcast: even rainy days can sometimes be ideal!

Of course, most of the time you’ll want to go exploring when the weather’s nice, so if you can, save picture time until the afternoon or evening, or wake up extra early and get some amazing sunrise shots.

Best angles for photographing waterfalls

The rule of thirds is something you’ll hear about all the time when you’re talking photography. It states that a photo is more visually interesting when its subject isn’t directly in the centre of the shot. So what does that mean for taking pictures of waterfalls?

Try to add some interest to your shot by including some of your surroundings: most of the time, waterfalls are surrounded by all kinds of gorgeous nature! By including a tree, or part of the cliff the waterfall runs down, your photos will have that certain artistic quality you find in professional photography.

Best equipment for photographing waterfalls

Most of the time, you’ll want to pack light if you’re on the hunt for incredible hidden (and not-so-hidden!) waterfalls. We aren’t suggesting you bring a whole photographer’s studio with you, but there are a few small things you can add to really make your photos pop.

Apple’s Live Photo setting allows you to create moving images: the camera captures 1.5 seconds of movement before and after you take the photo, which results in three seconds of movement. This is a great way to show off the power and movement of the falls, but it also gives you the option to play with a long exposure: the still image is all 3 seconds of movement stitched together, and it can create beautiful blurring effects.

If you’re experimenting with a long exposure, the most important thing to remember is your phone needs to be perfectly still while the photo is being taken. If you think you might have a problem with that, or you just want to make sure everything goes perfectly, there are tons of portable tripods you can get to keep things stable.

Get in the frame

Don’t be afraid to step in front of the camera! Whether it’s to show the scale of a massive waterfall or just to show off your traveller’s tan, including yourself in your waterfall photos is a sure-fire way to make memories and have photos you’ll want to keep forever.

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