Us Brits are well known for moaning about the water that often falls from the skies above the UK but even rain should be welcomed sometimes as without it, we wouldn’t have cascading waterfall, rivers and streams to photograph. So, to carry on with the watery theme, here’s 5 water-based photography subjects you should try and capture with your camera this year.
1. Water Droplets
If you don’t have the time to find a river or stream, wait for it to rain and use a macro lens to capture raindrops on a window at home. The upside-down projection of the world outside always make interesting images or wait until the rain stops falling and head outside, into the garden, to photograph the drops of rain that can be found on plants. Focus on the end of a leaf, background blurred, so when the droplet falls you’re ready to capture it, pin-sharp. Just remember to use a tripod as the slightest shift in camera position can drastically change the composition and it will reduce the risk of camera shake too.
2. Waterfalls And Rivers
If you want to have a go at blurring waterfalls or the movement of a river head out on an overcast day it’s easier to get the slower shutter speeds you need to make this technique work. Make sure you have your tripod with you when you leave the house and a remote cable release (if you have one) to stop shake ruining your shot and take care when you’re metering as your camera can be fooled into thinking the scene’s too bright so all your shots could come out underexposed. Bracket a stopover and under or fit an ND filter to stop as much light entering the camera.
There is no right or wrong shutter speed to use when photographing waterfalls as this depends on how far you are from your subject, how much blur you want, the amount of water you’re photographing and the speed at which it’s flowing. But if you want a starting point, a speed of 1/15sec is a good place to begin. If you’re at the coast, this same technique can be used to photograph waves. Once you have your smooth, flowing water shots, set a faster shutter speed, 1/250sec or higher, and make your watery scene seem frozen in time.
For rivers, get down low with your wide-angle lens to demonstrate how the river narrows to the vanishing point or look for higher ground and show it meandering through the scene.
Lakes and reservoirs provide plenty of potential for photographing reflections. A sunny day by a calm lake will give you an almost mirror-like image of your surrounding landscape but don’t forget to try and shoot somewhere there’s foreground detail to prevent the scene looking boring. If you’re not near a lake, a puddle or wet pavement will work just as well.
4. The Sea
While at the coast you can either use a slow shutter speed to blur the waves or a fast one to freeze them in their tracks. If you go for the fast approach wait until the wave is at a peak and shoot. Slow speeds are great for creating lava-style flows of water as waves break on the beach.
5. Water Bubbles
Capturing water bubbles is fun, challenging and can leave with you with a series of abstract shots well worth hanging on your wall. You’ll need quick shutter speeds and ideally, work manually to give you more control.
You’ve read the technique now share your related photos for the chance to win prizes: Daily Forum Competition
It doesn’t cost you anything extra when you use these links, but it does support the site, helping keep ePHOTOzine free to use, thank you.