PHOTOGRAPHING THREE WATERFALLS IN THREE DAYS

A tripod of some sorts is a must if you wish to convey movement in the water. One of the advantages of tree cover and shadows is that you can normally achieve this look without adding neutral density filters to your camera. Fallingwater Cascades is a 1.7 loop hike located in the Jefferson National Forest off of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Fuji x-Pro2 with 16MM. 1/1.7 @ f16, ISO 200, -0.3 exposure compensation.

A tripod of some sorts is a must if you wish to convey movement in the water. One of the advantages of tree cover and shadows is that you can normally achieve this look without adding neutral density filters to your camera. Fallingwater Cascades is a 1.7 loop hike located in the Jefferson National Forest off of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Fuji x-Pro2 with 16MM. 1/1.7 @ f16, ISO 200, -0.3 exposure compensation.

I didn't set out to photograph waterfalls. In fact, I don't even get that thrilled about photographing waterfalls. Especially when it's the middle of the day in the summer. However, there are some advantages.

1. Many waterfalls are only a short hike from the road.

2. Since much of the light doesn't reach them, shooting in the middle of the day is normally not a problem. 

3. People seem to like when you show them photographs of waterfalls. Translates to plenty of likes on social media.

Light not great, lots of people, that's when you look for other angles. I noticed these leaves and how the strong mid-day sun made them pop. That same light also provided a nice rim light which separated the rock ledge from the background and also reflected off the water brightening the underside which kept it from going completely dark. Spruce Flats Falls is a 1.5 mile out and back hike located near the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Treemont. Fuji X-Pro2 with 35MM. 1/100 @ f2.2, ISO 200.

Light not great, lots of people, that's when you look for other angles. I noticed these leaves and how the strong mid-day sun made them pop. That same light also provided a nice rim light which separated the rock ledge from the background and also reflected off the water brightening the underside which kept it from going completely dark. Spruce Flats Falls is a 1.5 mile out and back hike located near the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Treemont. Fuji X-Pro2 with 35MM. 1/100 @ f2.2, ISO 200.

There are also some disadvantages to photographing waterfalls.

1. Many waterfalls are only a short hike from the road.

2. Since much of the light doesn't reach the waterfall, there can be a wide exposure range between the light that does reach them and the shadows.

3. People not only like to see photographs of waterfalls, they also like to visit them. This normally happens about the same time you decide to photograph them.

You will need patience if you hope to capture a waterfall without people. Or you could embrace it and use people to add a splash of color and additional movement in the frame. Grotto Falls is a 2.6 mile out and back hike located outside Gatlinburg, Tenn., in the Great Smoky Mountains. Fuji X-Pro2 with 16MM. 

You will need patience if you hope to capture a waterfall without people. Or you could embrace it and use people to add a splash of color and additional movement in the frame. Grotto Falls is a 2.6 mile out and back hike located outside Gatlinburg, Tenn., in the Great Smoky Mountains. Fuji X-Pro2 with 16MM. 

I actually photographed more than the three waterfalls in the three days, but after a while, they do all start to look the same.