Photographing waterfalls with the silky effect is fairly simple. You need a camera in which you can adjust the shutter speed and a tripod or some way to immobilize the camera. A remote shutter or time delay helps ensure the camera doesn’t move during the shot. Preferred conditions are actually gloomy: cloudy, calm and wet! Colours in our environment are most vibrant just after a rain; saturated physically and visually.
Although in the image it doesn’t appear sunny, the effect of the rising sun is just evident in the upper right background. The trees, though lush and green appear to be yellow. For a September calendar, that worked out perfectly. For screen resolution options, go here.
Raleigh Falls, pictured here, runs north so looking up the falls, we look into a bright white sky. At this angle it almost appears that the water is an extension of that whiteness. Unless I was able to be there when dark storm clouds are passing by, I have to take it as it is or angle the shot differently. A graduated neutral density filter may help but I don’t yet have that in my collection of accessories.
Here’s a helpful ‘when and how’ article about filters in landscape photography. Of the many types on the market, I currently only have a circular polarizing filter. This has a rotating ring that increases or decreases the amount of reflection or glare. The two straight-out-of-the-camera shots below were taken with identical settings; the only difference is rotation of the polarizing filter! Reflection is enhanced at one end and practically eliminated on the other.
I’m looking forward to visiting Raleigh often in the next few weeks. I love fall at the falls!