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Tips for Photographing Water

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Looking for ways to improve your photography skills? I’m very excited to introduce to you today’s guest blogger, Kristen Duke of Kristen Duke Photography.  For many of us, it’s a challenge to get the effect we want when we are shooting photos with water…Kristen shares her tips with us on how to get that perfect shot!



For those of you that have a camera that you can control the settings, we are going to talk about 2 different effects with changing your shutter speed in regards to water. For the longest time, I would see cool pictures with water and really want to figure out how to shoot them, but I had no clue how. I’ve got 2 different examples for you today, hopefully this will teach you a new trick.


First is slowing down your shutter speed to capture the constant flow of the water such as this waterfall below. The first shot, I could tell it wasn’t slowed enough. You can still see droplets.
I was at 1/25 on my shutter and new I had to slow it down even more. Tripods are quite necessary for this, as you will likely get camera shake without. Below is pulled back, but you can see the flow of the water is captured how I wanted….soft and pretty.
See, I was at 1/.6 on my shutter. A slow shutter means when you press your shutter button, it will stay open longer and therefore catch a lot of movement in one scene.


The second example is speeding up the shutter and freezing the droplets of water. I’ve got 3 examples below.
These two shutters are cranked way up to 1/1600, but the aperture was quite low.
Don’t you love the look of seeing water droplets frozen in time? I do.


Below, since my aperture was 2.8, but shutter isn’t as high, plus we were in the shade. Simple enough?


Sorry if these make you long for summer (these were taken then).
Now go give that a try!



Kristen blogs at Capturing Joy with Kristen Duke, and lives in Austin, Texas. She started out blogging as a portrait photographer sharing her photo sessions, then fell in love with sharing photo tips which turned into 2 books: Say NO to Auto and Get Focused.  She now shares lots of fun projects, recipes, and life as she knows it along with all of that other stuff, too! She’d love to have you stop by her place!