Photographing waterfalls can be a rush – one of the biggest rushes in photography! Every single one has it’s own personality and moods, which in turn will vary based on all kinds of different environmental factors (in addition to the ever-changing light outdoors). Of course this is a common theme for landscape photography subject, so nothing new right? Whatever conditions you find though, it is always a smart idea to approach all water (and especially moving water) with care.
Pictured in this post is a 300 foot tall waterfall named Dynjandi. This massive cascade of water over rocks is the largest waterfall in the Western Fjords area of Iceland, and can be quite a challenge to photograph. The drive out here is a long one, and you definitely should fill your vehicle up with gas before heading out on the last leg of the journey. During a summer solstice trip to Iceland, this was one of the few nights that we had overcast skies (instead of exploding color and drama), so Colby Brown, Michael Bonocore and I chose to get up close an personal with this monster for the evening. The campground if located at the base of the fall, allowing us to easily hike up to the waterfall and shoot it at our leisure. It also helps that the daylight never goes away during that time of year!
This is an intimate look at the very bottom of this majestic cascade of water … I used a 70-200 zoom lens with a lens hood and plastic bag covering everything. I like to use a clear plastic bag (or shower cap) because they allow me to compose the image without exposing the lens glass to the millions of water droplets in the air. Lift up the plastic, shoot, replace plastic …. clean the lens/filter off (I like a hand blower – less streaking – but lens clothes work fine too) … repeat. A circular polarizing filter can be very helpful for removing glare and reflection from and surfaces in the scene, as well as allowing you to slow down the shutter speed, giving you the level of silky-smooth water that you desire.
Good luck, and be Safe!