If you photograph a waterfall in its completeness, it can certainly result in beautiful pictures. But with a little more creativity, you can sometimes capture a waterfall in a few other special ways. For example, by playing with your camera settings, choosing a different point of view or simply by using items that are present in the vicinity of the waterfall.
Here are some creative tips to photograph a waterfall in a different way during one of your trips.
1. Take a look behind the waterfall
In most cases, you will photograph a waterfall from the front. Do you have the opportunity to go behind a waterfall? Take your chance!
So in Iceland I decided to take a look behind the Seljalandsfoss waterfall and in Australia behind the Chrystal Shower Falls. From behind of the waterfall you can not only see the waterfall from a different perspective. You can also see the surroundings where the waterfall is located from the other side.
2. Place something in the foreground for more depth in your photo
Look in the vicinity of the waterfall for certain objects which you can include in the foreground of your photo. For example, in the following pictures, I used the green vegetation and branches to create more depth. Also by focusing on a certain point, you can also give a slightly different effect to your photo.
At the Russell Falls, unlike the picture of the Ebor Falls, the focus is on the waterfall. While at the Ebor Falls the focus is on the branches in the foreground. The branches are certainly not the main subject of the picture, but the branches in the foreground do create a certain curiosity towards the waterfall in the background.
3. Spot a rainbow
When the sun is shining and there is a mist at the waterfall, there is a great chance that a rainbow will appear and / or is already visible. Due to the rainbows which appeared in the waterfalls below on Iceland and the Milford Sound in New Zealand, I could give a special touch to the pictures!
4. Photograph from a higher point of view
Are you walking in an area with a difference in altitude or are you in a helicopter and there is a waterfall nearby? Then photograph the waterfall from this higher point of view. This way you do not only see the water pouring down from a greater height, but you can also see where the water is coming from and how the water flows to the waterfall.
I photographed the Dangar Falls in Australia from an higher viewing platform and the waterfalls on Hawaii during a flight in a helicopter.
5. Create a misty effect
The falling water can be captured as you see it, by using a short shutter speed. The water drops will then look like they are frozen. In the waterfalls below I actually used a long (shutter) shutter speed, to give the flowing water a misty effect. For example, the Svartifoss has changed into a continuous flow of water and the Nelson Falls even seem to consist of several waterfalls!
6. Show the power of the water
The power of water is nowhere better visible than at a waterfall. For example, at some waterfalls it might be more beautiful to work with a longer shutter speed to create a misty effect. But at a number of waterfalls it’s absolutely a lot more spectacular to show the enormous power of the water.
The Huka Falls in New Zealand and the Gulfoss in Iceland were perfect for this reason! With a quick shutter speed and by zooming in, I could emphasize the swirling water even more.
7. Emphasize the height of the waterfall
Certainly at high waterfalls you always need some creativity to capture the waterfall completely. But even more difficult is to show how high a waterfall really is. You can actually do this in two ways. By photographing from a low point of view or by including a person / persons in your photo.
For example, at the Milford Sound in New Zealand I decided to let the canoes under the Bowen Falls be part of the photo. And if you look closely, you will discover another two visitors to the right of the Skógafoss in Iceland. In both pictures, in this way, you can easily show how high the waterfalls actually are.
All the creative tips at a glance:
- Take a look behind the waterfall
- Place something in the foreground for more depth in your photo
- Spot a rainbow
- Photograph from a higher point of view
- Create a misty effect
- Show the power of the water
- Emphasize the height of the waterfall
Do you have another nice idea to photograph a waterfall?