We all see those beautiful, cotton seaside scenes or milky waterfalls falling down a rock face. These images look so professional and challenging to shoot. Yes, taking moving water photos might not be as simple, but with the correct information and preparation, you can take your shots too. The key is finding the best water to shoot and mastering your technique.
Basic Steps to getting it Right
Some scenes might look difficult to photograph because various factors have to be in place. Once you have the right, you are set on the path to breathtaking photos. So, what should you do? Let’s dive into the steps to follow.
Choose the Right Location
The basic foundation for beautiful moving water photos is choosing the right spot for the shot. This is because some locations, especially waterfalls, are difficult to access due to their terrain. Be careful when selecting your site and approach it in the most careful way possible. You can also watch the light to find the perfect time for shooting.
Choose the Right Format
The format you choose for your moving water photos will depend on the setting. Vertical and horizontal (landscape and portrait) formats are perfect for seaside water shots. However, the portrait format is best suited for waterfalls. That’s because there’s more height than breadth to the image. However, you should be ready to experiment with both orientations for every setting to identify the one that gives classic shots.
Choose the Ideal Shutter Speed
To capture silky smooth or milky white photos, you have to choose your shutter speed carefully. The difference between every shutter could mean the difference between great shots and just a standard shot. In this case, too much light will prevent you from using a slow enough shutter speed. It might be essential to use a polarizing filter to minimize the light. You may need to experiment with the ideal shutter speed for your scene and lighting conditions.
Using a Good Tripod
A good tripod is essential for taking moving water photos. This is because you might need extended exposure times. It is important to use a small aperture to get maximum depth of the scene while maintaining sharpness throughout the photo. You can couple this with a remote to minimize camera vibration and shake.
Experiment with Composition
This means changing your viewpoint, angle, and distance from the scene. Before doing this, you should determine the amount of moving water you want to include and the other features near to the water. You should also focus on how close you can get due to various obstacles. Once you determine your ideal composition, be ready to refine it by zooming out or in slightly. The slight variation might improve your images dramatically.
For instance, amid the movement and blurriness of moving water, including a static element like a building, tree, or rock. These serve as visual anchors for your moving water photos. Here are more composition ideas for outstanding moving water pictures:
- Capture water in action
Capturing water movement at the height of its action gives life to your photographs. This is especially when you use a fast shutter speed as it works best for moving water.
- Turn Your Photo into a Painting
In this case, you should look at your photograph as abstract art. Most up-close shots of moving water generate powerful emotions while blurred images of a moving river calm the viewer. The best way to achieve the soothing effect is through slow shutter speeds. You can also use a tripod to prevent your image from blurring.
- Take Photos in Water
You can walk the extra yard to allow your viewers to experience the waters’ depth. With protective clothing and a waterproof camera, step into the water and take the thrilling photographs in style, and allow your viewers to swim with you.
- Use Reflections to Add Element to Your Photos
Regardless of your location, always consider capturing reflections in your moving water photographs. You can also play around with varying colors and shapes in the water to create some of the best images.
Types of Moving Water that Make the Best Pictures
Water has a magical way of bringing calm and relaxation to humans. Therefore, you can also try to create the same relaxation feeling for anyone viewing your photos. That is by using the above steps to capture the following:
- Rolling water waves of an ocean
- Fierce beauty of a waterfall
- Small trickles of a stream
- Strong currents of a river
- Tranquil ripples of a lake
The Best Equipment for Moving Water Photography
Before setting out to take moving water photos, it is essential to factor in your camera’s waterproofing capabilities. Your camera might come with a particular amount of waterproofing, but it is crucial to add more waterproofing if you are around water for long. You might also have to invest in a waterproof case to store your camera when not using it. This way, you protect it from the adverse effects of rain and mist.
Taking moving water photos also requires you to have a good quality tripod. It keeps your camera steady throughout the session. For additional stability, you can bring in a remote. It helps you to capture your images without having to touch the camera.
The camera lens that you use will depend on the style of your photos. Wide-angle camera lenses are perfect for beautiful landscapes with moving water. You can use regular lenses to capture the ripples of a lake.
Taking moving water photos is fun but can also be challenging. Do not be discouraged if the initial attempt doesn’t give the photos you expected. Instead, be prepared to practice and experiment with different locations until you find one with the right conditions. Practice also help you master the technique that works best for your style and equipment. For more information on water photography, Casey Skeens Photography has you covered. We have multiple blogs on our website that can help you master water photography.
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