When to freeze pictures of water
The largest waves often occur when the weather is stormy and unsettled. But the waves are actually generated by storms out to sea, so it’s not uncommon to find large waves in bright sunshine too.
Waterfalls are slightly less dependant on the weather, but you’ll need to shoot after rainy days – don’t turn up after a particularly sunny, dry period or chances are your subject will have dried up!
Set up your camera to freeze water movement
1 Use Shutter Priority mode
Shooting in Shutter Priority mode will allow you to control the shutter speeds needed to freeze the movement. When selecting a fast shutter speed, watch out for the under-exposure warning, which is usually indicated either by the aperture display flashing, or the word ‘Lo’ displayed on the LCD.
2 Increase the ISO
In many situations you will need to increase the ISO so that you can use a shutter speed fast enough to freeze motion. So start with an ISO setting of 400, although you may have to increase this to ISO800 or above in really dull conditions.
3 Focus and drive modes
The random movement of water can make it difficult for your camera’s autofocus system to work accurately, so set the camera to manual focus (M or MF) and pre-focus on the area that you want in focus. It’s also worth setting the camera to continuous shooting mode so that you can take a short burst of images and choose the best.
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
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