Photographing waterfalls with landscape photographer Sarah Howard of Image Seen

Photographing waterfalls with landscape photographer Sarah Howard of Image Seen



hi I'm Sarah Hauer from image seen and we're here today in waterfall country the veil of needs South Wales to photograph some of these wonderful waterfalls this is just one of the many locations that we go to as part of image seen throughout the UK but I have to say this is probably one of my favorite and today I'm going to show you a few tips and techniques as to how about getting the perfect waterfall shot now on arrival at our location the first thing to do is really take a good look at the scene in front of you and look for any potential distractions so when you're thinking about your composition you're looking for things that may not really add to the scene in front of you so for example a fallen tree or any sort of mess and in the river or anything that's going to not add to the overall image the other thing to be aware of as well as the lights and today we're really lucky we have very subdued lighting which is actually perfect for photographing this kind of woodland scene so you're not going to have issues with high contrast and lots and lots of reflections so I've chosen my spot this is where I'm going to take my image from really really good to have a nice sturdy tripod it's absolutely essential for any landscape photographer it helps stabilize the camera but it also really helps you when you're composing your shots also you want a cable release so now I've got my camera on the tripod I don't want to move it so we want to make sure we're not jogging it in any way and just to help make sure that everything is nice and straight really good to have one of these little hotshoe spirit levels just so that we can make sure we're not a strange sort of angle set up my shot now and I put it on live view on the back of the camera so I can actually show you what I've chosen to photograph from here so as you can see I've got the waterfall which is the main feature of the image over towards the left-hand side so we're slightly following the rule of thirds here I've also got a really nice flow of water coming throughout the image which you're hopefully is going to take the eye into the scene you can see I've also got a nice big rock in the foreground and there's some really lovely light now on the waterfall and also on the trees as well now light changes really really quickly it may be that our camera is going to struggle to record the highlights and the shadows accurately at this point in time but we'll see how we get on so that's essentially the composition I've chosen what I'm now going to look at is the camera settings themselves so the aperture and the shutter speed and also whether or not I need to use any filters at all so the first thing to think about then is a camera setting so you want to really consider what effects you actually want to achieve do you want to freeze the motion of the water do you want to give it a slightly sort of milky effect do you want to record the movement of the water now I'm actually going to give it a milky effect so I've chosen an aperture in this instance of f11 and that should also give me a reasonably good depth of field as well which is important so I want everything nice and sharp from front to back so I'm working in an aperture priority which is what you would do for most landscape photography now I can see already that I'm going to have problems with reflections on the water and I know that there looks okay to my eyes but on the actual image itself that's going to be quite distracting so I'm going to use what's known as a polarizing filter to help remove that white light reflection off the surface of the water and also the other thing it does is it really slows down your shutter speed which is why I want to do in this instance so I'm going to put my polarizing filter in here in the filter holder now hopefully you can see essentially here I've not actually got the polarizing filter in the correct position so we've got a lot of reflection on the water in the foreground now as I twist it you should hopefully start to see that reflection disappearing and now you can see some of the rocks really showing through nicely underneath the water itself so I really like that effect so I'm going to go with that and also my polarizer is also saturating the colors so those greens are really really looking nice and punchy now which is what I want so I've got my filter on I decided on the aperture and I need to think about where abouts I'm going to focus so generally with landscape photography would be a third of the way in and I'm actually on auto focused in this instance and I'm focusing roundabouts on the rock right in the center there if I just point you can see just about here so that should mean I get nice front to back sharpness I think I'm going to need a slightly longer exposure so what I'm going to do is I'm going to put on a neutral density filter as well which also helps block out light so I'm going to pop this in and just show you we've now got a reading of 1.6 seconds so that's actually going to give us a really really nice milky effect on the water now what may happen is you may end up blowing our highlights and I'll show you in a second the histogram see that you can see that but I would suggest that you bracket your shot so I've actually set my camera I'm going to bracket in two thirds of the stop now if we look on the back of the camera I've got my histogram up here and we look at this one and this is since we've underexposed by two thirds of the stock and looking at our histogram we can see it's bunched up towards the left-hand side so that's quite a large proportion of the images is in shadow we look back at the previous one we've got a more even shaped histogram and on this one here it looks to me like we've actually blown our highlights which means we've overexposed the image and if I switch the highlight indicator on you might be able to just see you've got some flashing white up here so that indicates the areas that are actually overexposed where we've lost detail but because I've taken the three shots one of those I think is going to be fine so I'd always recommend doing this don't forget you need to consider your ISO so we go to the lowest ISO possible always generally was most landscape photography and that's going to give you the highest quality image doing this instance I've got my ISO on two hundred so let's just recap don't be in too much of a hurry to get the camera out the bag thoroughly check out your location look for any distractions and be aware of what the light is doing think carefully about your composition as well so look for foreground interest and something to draw the eye into the main point of interest in the scene and then of course you need to consider your camera settings so the aperture you're going to use the ISO and the shutter speed all of which come together to create the image that you want now I've just gone over this really briefly with you today but to find out a little bit more about what we offer join one of our workshops you can refer to the website image scene dot Cote UK for information on everything that we do and I hope to see you on one of them

22 thoughts on “Photographing waterfalls with landscape photographer Sarah Howard of Image Seen

  • July 31, 2019 at 10:59 am
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    Except your flow of water leads out of the frame. Rule of third is well and dandy but that 1st composition is not imorrssive

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  • July 31, 2019 at 10:59 am
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    Sorry, I can't watch …… Your voice is more than a bit irritating !

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  • July 31, 2019 at 10:59 am
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    Lovely accent Sarah! πŸ™‚

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  • July 31, 2019 at 10:59 am
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    Would love to have a day workshop concentrating on long exposure shots and to properly use my collection of Lee filters including little big and supper stoppers

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  • July 31, 2019 at 10:59 am
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    Just came across this video. Great tutorial.

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  • July 31, 2019 at 10:59 am
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    With my like now you have 1K likes. Thanks for the tips. Cheers!

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  • July 31, 2019 at 10:59 am
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    Thank! Sarah…,

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  • July 31, 2019 at 10:59 am
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    great tutorial . . . love it πŸ˜‰πŸŽ†β˜ΊοΈπŸ‘πŸ‘

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  • July 31, 2019 at 10:59 am
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    '…priority, which is what you would do for most landscape photography.'

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  • July 31, 2019 at 10:59 am
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    Surely full manual is more appropriate for landscape so you have full control over everything, did I miss something but I'm sure it said 1/6 of a second before she put the ND filter in. Nice image at the end though.

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  • July 31, 2019 at 10:59 am
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    Nice explaination Sarah….beautiful place too.

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  • July 31, 2019 at 10:59 am
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    Great tutorial, well explained. Thanks!!

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  • July 31, 2019 at 10:59 am
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    you confused me even more….. it didn't helped me sorry πŸ™‚

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  • July 31, 2019 at 10:59 am
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    Fab tutorial, I am out doing some waterfall photography tomorrow and will take this great advice on board, thanks!!

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  • July 31, 2019 at 10:59 am
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    Whats up with the sound of this video? Its distracting

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  • July 31, 2019 at 10:59 am
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    I like you work, and tech talk.

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  • July 31, 2019 at 10:59 am
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    Awesome vids, you make my day.
    Carry on creating video, need more like you.

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  • July 31, 2019 at 10:59 am
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    The finished image you show after all the setup looks very clean and punchy, great work Sarah. Thank you for the video.

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  • July 31, 2019 at 10:59 am
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    Nice tutorial. I took a waterfall shot on a recent trip to Black Tor on Dartmoor, which can be seen at the end of this video: https://youtu.be/ghLCzZbg45E

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  • July 31, 2019 at 10:59 am
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    did you, use ND filter ?

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  • July 31, 2019 at 10:59 am
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    i have been tryin to do some long expos on a couple of small waterfalls and have put it into bulb mode with the cable remote did some for a couple of seconds they was on but any over 10 seconds blowing out i do use a nd filter or a cpl can u give me some tips

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  • July 31, 2019 at 10:59 am
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    Please upload more content, you clearly have the talent! πŸ™‚

    Reply

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