Chasing Rainbows & Waterfalls

January 14, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Photo tips on shooting Rainbows & Waterfalls

Rainbows and Waterfalls are two of my favorite subjects to shoot, both take a bit of patience and sometimes a bit of luck!

For Rainbows:
Keeping your camera as still as possible is important in all landscape shots – but it’s particularly important for rainbow shots as they often appear in darker conditions (like before a storm or squall) - so that means use a tripod if possible. I recommend using a polarizing filter in order to get more of detail in your clouds and to blue-up the sky.  Using a small aperture will get you more detail in both the foreground and background. 

For Waterfalls: 
Using a tripod is even more important for shooting waterfalls.  Varying your shutter speed setting is the most important technique for achieving different effects.  To show slow water movement, your shutter speed needs to be at minimum 1/8 second; I have shot as slow as 20 seconds!  Also, I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to pay attention to your surroundings. For example, if you have wind and observe that leaves or plants are moving, you will need to shoot at a faster speed or they will end up being blurry. Be sure to take shots with a variety of shutter speeds, believe me you'll be happy you did.  Also for more advanced post production you can overlay two images; one using a fast shutter speed with the tree leaves sharp and one slow shutter speed for waterfalls to appear in slow motion.   If you have the sky in your composition, you most likely will need a ND Filter (covered in my last mail newsletter) in order to bring down the exposure of the sky.  A polarized filter also works well with a waterfalls in order to reduce any hot spots from the sun on the water.  Finally, bring a lens cloth to wipe off your lens and filters as shooting as waterfalls are notorious for putting water spots on your images.

Most importantly, enjoy the fun and challenge of achieving photographic excellence in different situations and conditions! 



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