Join Justin Reznick for an in-depth discussion in this video Shooting a waterfall up close on a boat, part of Travel Photography: Fjords of New Zealand.
- Alright, we're here at Stirling Falls, coming up right in close to it, and we're really going to focus on the water hitting the surface and streaking out against this beautiful blue, so we're trying to get the white streaks contrasting with the blue of the water. So, the captain's going to come up real slow and just put us in this spray, so the key is, let's try and keep the camera dry as possible, so I've got the lense hood on to protect it. Before I do that, let's polarize. Alright, we've got our polarization, which means I'm going to stay in horizontal, and again, trying to protect against that spray.
I'm on Continuous High mode, so I can take as many images as possible. Optical Image Stabilizer on, aperture 5.6. I'm going to start at ISO 1600 and see what that does. Alright, here we go. (shutter clicking rapidly) (waterfall crashing) (shutter clicking rapidly) (water splashing) Getting wet! That was intense.
The spray was coming fast and furious into the lense. I had my nice cloth here, ready to go, so I would turn, shield the camera, wipe, go right back into the spray. Remember, I'm on Continuous high, so as I press the shutter, "shut, shut, shut, shut," I'm trying to get as many as I can. And I also was changing to ISO to vary the shutter speed to see the effects of it. As we moved further away, the spray became less intense, so it was easier for me to work, and I ended up taking the lense hood off so that I could also go horizontal to vertical and polarize.
So again, the boat's moving, the water's coming, you've got to work really fast. I knew I had the right lense on, I was polarized, my lense hood was there, and it was a matter of working really fast and consciously turning to shield, wiping the front of the lense, turning back. Now again, the importance of weather sealed equipment: this wouldn't have really worked with a whole rain cover around my camera. I really needed to work without that cumbersome feeling of not being able to reach my controls, so I'm glad I was able to do that without any kind of cover.
It was just shoot, turn, wipe, and shoot. I really don't know if I got the shot that I had envisioned. I sure hope so, but I did my best, and now I'm going to take those images into Lightroom, go through and see if I got what I was looking for which, again, was the water hitting, the spray coming at me, forming streaks against the blue contrasty water. That's what I hope I got, I worked hard, so let's go into Lightroom eventually and see if we can't pull one of those images out.
- Essential gear, from tripods to lenses
- Shooting at water's edge at low tide
- Shooting handheld from a moving boat
- Capturing details
- Post-processing techniques