How to Capture and Edit Waterfalls

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Want to create some stunning waterfall shots? Quickly learn some tips and tricks on photographing and editing waterfalls. From capturing to editing in ON1 Photo RAW, it’s incredibly easy. Use Develop to set your tone and color quickly, then take your photo into Effects to apply the finishing creative touches.

My tips for capturing and editing waterfalls:

1. Gear

I would recommend using a tripod so you can keep your camera level when shooting, allowing you to photograph at longer exposure settings. A polarizing or ND filter will let you photograph with slower shutter speeds in brighter conditions. The last thing I recommend is a blower for your lens, they are very cheap and help keep water drops off your lens.

2. Composition

Remember to think about how you want the shot composed before taking the photo. Think about leading lines, framing, and how you want your composition of the waterfall to look.

3. Exposure

Try using different shutter speeds to get different looks out of your water. The longer the shutter, the more motion you will have in your water.

4. Developing

Pay attention to your highlights and exposure. Waterfalls, especially when shot with longer exposure, can be very bright and overexposed in areas so be careful of that when editing. Play with your shadows slider rather than just boosting your exposure to help tone down those bright waterfall whites.

5. Effects

Sunshine is an excellent filter for waterfalls because it makes the white areas pop out and subdues the darker areas of your shot, bringing the waterfall to life. Some glow may help your water stand out. Adding a Color Enhancer allows for complete control of colors while processing your scene. Adding a vignette will help your subject pop out to the viewer more.

One comment on “How to Capture and Edit Waterfalls”

  1. On August 23, 2018 at 1:54 am Alex Mazurel wrote:

    A great alternative if you don’t have an ND filter is taking multiple shots (using a tripod!) and ‘stack’ these exposures in the layers module.
    For each layer use the following formula: opacity = 100 / layer to calculate the mean image of all exposures. (eg: 100%, 50%, 25%, 12%…)
    This effectively gives the same result as using an ND filter or using a lower ISO.

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