Water Photography Tips

Some photos of water are very sharp, while others look like they were taken straight out of a misty dream.

To achieve the soft, misty water look, you need to improve your long exposure photography. Let’s get started with these water photography tips.

Figure out Your Favourite Kind of Water Photography to Take Creative Photos

Since water exists in a variety of places, you have a lot of exciting water photography subjects to choose from. A few subject ideas:

  • Waterfalls
  • Running tap water
  • Seas or oceans

You can also combine these subjects with other genres. For example, you can include props or animals in your water photography.

You can also take self-portraits next to silky-looking water. The more photography subjects you experiment with, the more original your photos will look.

Make sure the location is safe and has plenty of room. The more spacious it is, the more room you’ll have to shoot water photography from creative angles. Be aware of tourists, drones, and anything else that could get in the way.

Also, keep weather changes in mind. Most smooth water images are taken on peaceful days. If you’re taking pictures of a waterfall on a windy day, the water might end up damaging your equipment.

The lighting also has to be decent for you to take professional-looking water photography. Try photographing water during the golden hour or the blue hour.

You can use all of the water pictures in this article as a reference. You’ll notice that most of them have dramatic and vibrant skies. This feature is why they stand out from the photos in the water photography genre.

Find a Focal Point That Tells a Story About the Water

This doesn’t need to be a complicated process. Your goal is to find something that complements the water and tells an interesting story.

For example, you can add people or objects to your composition. This will create depth and give viewers more to observe when they look at your pictures.

In the photo above, the photographer chose to create symmetry using the wooden poles. The water isn’t the main subject of the image, but it complements the entire landscape.

The focal point is the group of wooden poles, which stand out more when surrounded by smooth water.

Use a Slow Shutter Speed to Create That Soft Misty Effect

When you take soft photos, you need to keep two settings in mind:

  • Shutter speed: The slower it is, the silkier the water will look. You should experiment with different speeds because every photographer has specific preferences.
  • Aperture: A large aperture (e.g. f/1.2) creates more background and foreground blur. This is great for close-ups. A small aperture (e.g. f/16) captures more details. This is ideal for landscape photos.

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