Water photography: make stunning pictures of water in any environment

Water photography: make stunning pictures of water in any environment

Water Photography Tips: how to freeze movement


Water Photography Tips: how to freeze movement

There’s nothing like the action-stopping effects of fast shutter speeds for revealing the shape and form of moving water.

This is particularly effective when you’re shooting more dynamic forms of water, such as breaking waves or cascading waterfalls, which create amazing shapes and textures that can be captured by freezing the movement.

This technique is also one of the best ways to convey the power and forces created by the water.

To freeze water completely, you’ll need to use a very fast shutter speed of 1/1000 sec or less, which can 
be difficult to achieve in all but the brightest lighting conditions.

You need to be ready to increase your camera’s ISO setting to 400, 800 or even higher if you are shooting in grey, overcast conditions.

While you can use this technique for normal landscape images, the larger the wave or moving water is within the frame the more dramatic the result will be. But there are obvious dangers when you’re shooting near moving water, especially in extreme stormy conditions.

The safest way to shoot waves is to use a lens with a long focal length and to keep your distance. Even the more predictable flow of a waterfall can produce lots of spray that will end up soaking you and your kit, so try 
to stand as far away as possible.

Water photography tips: timing is key

Timing is key
For the best effect you need to capture the wave or spray at its maximum height or most dramatic moment. 
For waves, this is normally just before or as they break onto the shore, while cascading water is more difficult to predict.

Set the camera to its continuous shooting mode and be ready to fire a short burst of frames just as the most action occurs. This will give you the greatest chance of capturing the perfect image.

If you are lucky enough to find some really big waves, try to include something such as a distant lighthouse, a pier, or even people in the frame to give a sense of scale.

PAGE 1: Water photography tips for freezing movement
PAGE 4: Blur movement like a pro for classic effect
PAGE 6: How to photograph reflections like a pro
PAGE 9: How to remove surface glare from your water photography
PAGE 10: Get creative with the fine details


10 quick action photography tips
Common mistakes at every shutter speed (and the best settings to use)