#24/52: Waterfall Photography

I’ve always wanted to photograph a waterfall and finally got my chance. I’m so happy with it! Shot this waterfall photo at Devils Den State Park in Northwestern Arkansas on my Mother/Daughter camping trip. I climbed out on the rocks, quite a feat since I’m afraid of heights, and a flat rock acted as my tripod.

Waterfall photography

ISO 100, f/20, 75mm, 1.3 sec Canon Rebel XS (click for larger image)

Only took two photos since the sun was going behind the trees and after looking at the results in the camera I was more than pleased. Being from Nebraska I don’t have much of an opportunity to practice waterfalls photography.

Editing notes: Almost none, opened in Lightroom 4, straightened a few degrees, adjusted white balance for a little more warmth, that was it!

Tips For Good Waterfall Photography

  • Set your camera on Manual or Shutter priority
  • Experiment with long exposures starting at 1/2 second and going up from there. The longer the exposure the smoother the water effect
  • Increase your aperture as high as it will go to reduce over exposure in sunny conditions (this photo was taken on a cloudy overcast day)
  • Use a neutral density filter on sunny days for really long exposures
  • Use a tripod and a shutter trigger
  • If you don’t have a tripod, or a good place to set up find a sturdy rock
  • To avoid blur if you don’t have a shutter release set the automatic timer


Photography doesn’t need to be complicated, nor does it need to cost a lot of money. The shot above was done with a very simple DSLR Canon Rebel camera sitting on a rock on shutter priority and the self programmed timer. You know the setting, set it for 2-10 seconds, run and get in the photo. It was a cloudy day so I didn’t have to worry about sun glare. The conditions were perfect, I had a perfectly placed flat rock and perfect weather.

However, conditions are not always perfect and having the right photography tools on hand can make it easier to get the photograph you envision. I’ve always wanted a Gorilla pod, one just because they look cool, but other reasons is they are so very flexible and you can wrap them around a tree limb.

I have since purchased a Neutral Density filter and this will act lessen the sun glare and bright spots and enhance the ambient colors. Works great for sunrises and sunsets to bring out color.

Manfrotto BeFree Compact Lightweight Tripod for Travel PhotographyJoby GP1-A1EN Gorillapod Flexible Tripod (Grey)Hoya 62mm HMC Neutral Density ND8 Multi-Coated GlassNeewer LCD Timer Shutter Release Remote Control for

Learn More About Waterfall Photography

Beginner’s Guide to Waterfall Photography – Digital Photography …

Beginner’s Guide to Waterfall Photography – Learn the tips, tricks, and techniques that will help you improve your waterfall photography.

Waterfall Digital Photography – Digital Photography School

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This is the final post in a series on outdoor photography for Cru staff attending IBS and national staff training in Fort Collins, Colorado. Many staff will head to Rocky Mountain National Park on their free time, hoping to find great 

14 thoughts on “#24/52: Waterfall Photography

      1. I just love waterfalls, but can’t seem to get that flowing feeling in my pictures – where the water looks like mist. not sure what I’m doing wrong but I guess I might need a tripod – which I currently don’t have lol! PS Love mother/daughter time! Have a great weekend! Donna

    1. Thanks Bonnie, I wish I had more time to scout waterfalls on the trip, but I’m glad I got this one. It almost didn’t happen. It took us 20 minutes of driving on oxbow cutbacks at 15 mph to get down here.

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