Blurring Waterfall Images

Curtis Falls, Tamborine

I love photographing water falls, there are so many options open to you. You can get the whole scene or just crop, so that you just get a small portion of the falls. Also you can have the option of a fast shutter speed to freeze the action of the water or as I generally prefer with water falls to use a very long shutter speed to cause blurring of the water.

In the above example I have used such a long shutter speed. This image has been captured at an aperture of f/16, shutter speed 4 seconds and an ISO of 320, I probably should have even used a lower ISO. This image was captured with a lens at 12omm to just get a small portion of the falls.

Many photographers will use a wide angle lens for landscapes and water scenes and wide angles can be quite effective, however I like to try a telephoto sometimes to get in close to a part of the scene.

In normal daylight you can not achieve the above camera settings, so for the above falls I used a 10-stop ND (Neutral Density) filter to enable the long exposure time. For this type of image you will need to use a tripod and remote release . Also lenses with large apertures are not required for these images, the lens I used had a largest aperture of f/5.6.

If you use a Nikon camera then many of the cheaper lenses listed here will be suitable.

If you are capturing images at around f/16, generally any lens will give quite good image quality.