How to Photograph Water

How to Photograph Water

Water can make one of the most fascinating subjects for a photographer as it adds another dimension to your images. However, it’s not always the easiest thing to capture well. Here’s how to photograph water.

Use the Reflections

One of the best things about water is that it naturally creates a mirror meaning you’re able to  capture incredible reflections if you use it right. In order to get a mirror image in the water though, it has to be a relatively still and flat body of water and you need to have enough natural light reflecting off its surface, lakes and slow flowing rivers are perfect for this. For it to really work you need to have something interesting being reflected, it works brilliantly with skylines of cityscapes and also sunsets or sunrises.

Capture the Flow

Some of the best water photography is the kind that really captures the movement of the water so it almost appears as though it’s still moving in the resulting image. The soft, wispy effect that you see on images that makes them appear other worldly is a relatively simple one to achieve with the  correct technical knowledge and a bit of practice.

The first thing you need is a tripod because you’re going to need a longer exposure to capture the flow of the water, but without a tripod it will just be blurred from the miniscule movements of your hands. Next you’ll want to adjust your shutter speed to around 2 seconds, and then play around with your f-stop and ISO to get the right balance.

Get In

A great way to switch up the angle on your water photography is to literally immerse yourself in it. That’s right, get in and get wet! Ideally you’ll come prepared with some appropriate waterproof clothing, but alternatively you can simply take off your footwear and roll your pants up.

Often you’ll find that this simple change from being on the sidelines to being right in the thick of it will give your pictures a completely different perspective. It might also be a brilliant way to easily improve the composition of your images. This is often easier when you’re using a tripod so you can ensure that the camera is safe and stable and reduce the risk of it falling in the water.

Take Care

This is one of the most important tips for taking great water photography because water is by its nature completely unpredictable. The last thing you want is to turn your back and a wave to destroy your entire set up, meaning you potentially lose all of your photographs and equipment in the process.

If you’re photographing waterfalls then make sure of your footing while you’re setting up and don’t take any unnecessary risks in an attempt to get the perfect shot. Always be aware of things like tides, rising water levels, as well as any wild and dangerous animals that may be present as well.

Now that you know how to take awesome water photographs, why not show off your beautiful compositions by turning them into pieces of custom canvas art? All you need to do is upload them to the Artzee website and our talented designers will do the rest. 


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How to Photograph Water