Faery Falls 2

ISO 100, 24mm, f/4.0, 2.0sec

I was last at Faery Falls this past summer.  The falls looks very similar but the surrounding foliage is completely different.  Seeing the orange leaves on the ground of the oak trees makes me wish I had come in September while the fall leaves were in full color.

ISO 100, 24mm, f/4.0, 1/4sec

So lets review the settings for a great waterfall shot.  The first step to getting that lovely soft flowing water look is a long shutter speed (exposure).  Somewhere between 1/4th of a second and 4 seconds.  I determine the length of the exposure needed by weighing a combination of how much water is flowing, the amount of ambient light, the aperture desired, the amount of softening I want and if there is any wind.

ISO 100, 24mm, f/4.0, 0.8sec

Like landscape photography you want to use smaller aperture to give you a good depth of field.  You also can use a very small aperture like f/11 or higher to help limit the amount of light if it is a bright day.  The sun was already behind the canyon walls when we arrived at the waterfall so I was able to use a fairly normal aperture of 4.0.  Usually I use an aperture between 4.0 and 7.1.

ISO 250, 52mm, f/5.0, 1/50sec

You will also need some type of neutral density filter to decrease the amount of light reaching the sensor.  You need a filter so you can use a slow shutter speed without overexposing the photo.  I use a Polaroid variable neutral density filter.  It isn’t the highest quality, but does an adequate job for me.  I like using a variable neutral density filter because I can lighten the filter to focus and compose the shot then darken it for the exposure.  If you have a dark constant neutral density filter you are unable to see through it and the camera is unable to focus through it too.  So you end up taking the filter off to focus and compose the shot then putting it back on.  You must also do this while not changing the focus or the composition which isn’t easy to do when you are screwing the filter on to the end of the lens.

ISO 100, 10mm, f/4.0, 1/80sec

For this shot I borrowed Linda’s Tamron SP 10-24mm DX wide-angle lens.  I am standing at the edge of the pool of water and am able to get the whole pool in the shot as well as the entire waterfall!

Anyway if you have the chance to get to Faery Falls it’s a great falls to visit and is a very short hike from the parking area.

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