Travel photography is one of the most appreciated genres. Many people love travel blogs and images, so there’s no wonder so many travelers do their best to take the perfect shots of the most beautiful places they visit. Waterfalls are among the most photographed tourist objectives in the world. They are so beautiful that you don’t need to be a skilled photographer to take some great shots. Nonetheless, everybody could use a few tricks to help them improve the way they take photos of waterfalls and of running waters in general. The reason why you should consider learning and applying such tricks is that you may not be able to return to some of your objectives, should your photos be awful. Just imagine you’re photographing Victoria Falls, a place you won’t return to any time soon. Here’s what you have to know, in order to take stunning photos.
The first thing to do is to make sure you have a camera with manual settings. You need it, because you have to adjust your exposure to match the speed of the water. If you use a too short exposure time, the water fall is going to appear fragmented, as if there were billions of droplets separated from each other. This type of photography can be very artistic, but it may not be exactly how you want to remember Victoria Falls. You have to be able to set a longer exposure time, as this would make the water look like a magnificent silk scarf.
The above mentioned effect can be obtained by using a neutral density filter. This means your camera should be a DSLR, a mirrorless or a compact that can take filters. Neutral density filters enable you to use bigger exposure times during the day, as they have a darkening effect. However, you won’t be able to use such settings while handholding your camera. This is why you also have to use a tripod. It looks like a lot of gear to carry around all the way to Victoria Falls, but it’s going to be worth the trouble, so don’t leave home without it.
If you want to photograph Victoria Falls from the Zimbabwean side, you should obtain the best shots in the afternoon. You need the sun to be behind you, as this is going to generate some really cool rainbows. The light refracted through the water droplets is simply amazing, so you have to capture it in your images. If you try to take your photos in the morning, you are going to need to be in Zambia and look back west. Moreover, overcast days won’t give you the chance to photograph any rainbow, so you should hope to get some sun while you are there.
The time of year is also important, as the position and the time of sunset varies throughout the year. If you want to capture the perfect sunrise and sunset shots, you need to be there at specific dates. There are mobile apps that can give you the list of these dates, so that you can schedule your trips accordingly. For instance, Victoria Falls is best to be photographed between May and September, as the rest of the year, the sun rises too far to the right. The time of year has an influence on the volume of water cascading over Victoria Falls, so you should check out some climate reports in order to see which is the month with the best water volume for taking photos. If there’s too much water pumping, your camera may get soaked. If it’s not enough, your photos won’t be spectacular. Find the right moment and the best angle, and you’re going to obtain magnificent photos everybody would love.