Tips For Waterfall Photography

Waterfalls seem to grab the hearts and souls of people. Go to any location that has one or more waterfalls and it is pretty much a guarantee that they will be a major attraction, if not the main attraction, of the area. However, as beautiful as waterfalls are, it is not so easy to capture that beauty with a camera. It is easy to produce pictures of waterfalls; it is not so easy to produce powerful images.

Waterfalls provide their own unique set of problems that require a unique set of solutions. This article is about those unique problems and the solutions that allow photographers to produce images that communicate the power and beauty that are inherent in the waterfall scenes.

Download your free copy of my Tips for Photographing Waterfalls in my store at and check out all of my e-books and 2019 workshops.


Central Vermont - Self Guided Photo Workshop e-Book

I am pleased to announce the newest addition to my growing library of e-books for self-guided photo tours of New England. Central Vermont is my 7th in the series and certainly the most ambitious with 12 location along with links to in-depth landscape photography tutorials. If you are looking to visit this beautiful region of New England, this guide will provide all the information needed for a productive photography tour. Please visit my store for more information.

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New St. Augustine, FL workshop added.

I have just added the Beaches and Birds Workshop to my schedule for March 26 in beautiful St. Augustine, FL. A wonderful opportunity to learn sunrise photography, photograph historic St. Augustine and get a hands on mini course in photographing Florida’s birds in flight.

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2019 Workshops Now Available For Registration

My 2019 workshops are now available at and include the following locations.

6/4&5/19 The Dune Shacks, Lighthouses and Harbor of P-town

6/5/19 Sunset and Milky Way on the Lower Cape

6/14/19 Waterfalls & Wildflowers

9/28&29/19 The Dune Shacks, Lighthouses and Harbor of P-town

9/29/19 Sunset and Milky Way on the Lower Cape

10/8&9/19 Covered Bridges and Countryside of Central Vermont

10/9&10/19 Fall in the Northeast Kingdom

10/10&11/19 White Mountain Fall Foliage

10/13/19 The Fall Foliage of Central Massachusetts

10/17/19 Foliage and Falls of Southern NH

10/20/19 The Fall Foliage of Central Massachusetts

12/8/19 Holiday Lights of Boston

12/9/19 Holiday Lights of Boston

12/15/19 Holiday Lights of Boston

Shooting Fall Color Landscapes in the Northeast

Choosing the Location

 The key point when shooting landscapes in the fall is to remember that the foliage just adds color. You still need a strong composition to create interest for the audience. Fall colors can start in early to mid-September in low-lying marshes and with early-turning trees like swamp maples and birches. Elevation can change timing by at least a week. There are now a lot of good apps that provide fall color maps, but I tend to rely on making calls to local contacts to get the best information. Past peak conditions can still yield rich colors and more isolated compositions to allow shooting into November.

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Interesting Weather Makes Interesting Photos

 My favorite condition to shoot fall colors is an overcast sky as it provides soft/even lighting in which you can shoot all day long. Fog and light rain are even better as they creates a mystical atmosphere and great color gradation. On the rare occasion when there is an early snow, you are rewarded with the colors popping out of a totally neutral background. But fall is also full of sunny days, so keep shooting and look to get out in the magic hours of morning and evening. During the middle of the day, try to find shade when you can or when in full sun try to use it to backlight the leaves in your scene.


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 I use a telephoto lens to compress and bring the leaves more “into the scene”.  I usually shoot 1/3 to 2/3 of a stop under and always use a polarizing filter to eliminate the shine off the leaves and deepen the hue. Wind is your enemy in shooting fall colors so I prefer the early morning when it is calmest or I make sure I set my shutter speed at a high enough level to “freeze” the moving leaves. If you have moving water in the scene, use a tripod with a longer shutter speed to give a little motion to the stream or waterfall. I like between 1/3 – 1 second depending on the water’s speed.

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 I try to engage my audience by varying the scene from the traditional landscape. I do many of my shots around still water in order to provide reflections that create a little distortion to the viewers that tends to hold their interest. I also try to find paths, roads, fences, etc. to provide leading lines into the scene/foliage. Another technique to change the normal way the audience sees the scene is by getting low to the ground, shooting straight up or including close-up of foreground leaves in the scene.

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Fall is a wonderful time to shoot and as Camus said “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower”.

New Self Guided E-book Release - Boston

I am please to announce the the 6th book in my New England Self Guided Workshops Series. This newest book covers the city of Boston. No guide can cover all of the photo opportunities in Boston, as they are too numerous, and many change on a regular basis. This guide is geared to the photographer that is arriving in Boston and looking for 8-10 great photo opportunities that can be accomplished in a couple of days. The locations I have chosen are accessible by anyone with the ability to navigate a big city and does not mind some walking and carrying gear. While I am a landscape photographer and my main focus is on natural landscapes, Boston is such a beautiful city to photograph that I find myself often exploring  and shooting its cityscapes, iconic structures, parks and gardens and street scenes that sometimes look like they are from the 19th century and sometimes the 21st. With this e-book, I provide information designed for you to have a fun, productive and memorable photographic adventure. The images and information are designed to inspire you to create images that are unique to your style, and to search for new photographic opportunities. Check out my store for additional information. 


White Mountain e-book and June 14, 2018 workshop now available

You can download the White Mountain e-book in my store. If you are interested in attending the Photo Workshop in the White Mountains on June 14, 2018, please visit for all the details

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Provincetown, Massachusetts Photo Workshop - May 16-17, 2018

If you are interested in attending the Photo Workshop in Provincetown on May 16-17, 2018, please visit for all the details

Dune Shack

Dune Shack

Wood End Light Station

Wood End Light Station

Race Point Life Saving Station

Race Point Life Saving Station

MacMillan Wharf

MacMillan Wharf

Instant Photo Workshop - Sandwich Boardwalk - Sandwich, MA

Attraction Name: Sandwich Boardwalk

Description of Attraction: Crossing Mill Creek, the Sandwich Boardwalk is the main passage to the Town Beach. As you cross the reconstructed 1,350-foot boardwalk, you’ll notice funny quips, memorials to lovers, family members, and dedications to boats carved in the planks. Perhaps more importantly, the walkway’s vantage point provides striking views of Cape Cod Bay where you can watch not only the sunrise, but also the marsh grass sway against a hazy summer horizon.

Location Address: the boardwalk is located at the end of Boardwalk Road in Sandwich, MA. 

Parking: there is ample parking, but as in all beach parking on the Cape, it depends on the season and time you arrive. Early morning is usually no problem and there is a charge “in season”. 

Trail/Hiking Time: there is little or no walking time to the location shown.  Care must be taken climbing along the bank of the creek at low tide, as it is slippery with seaweed and very muddy. 

GPS: 41.7648889,-70.4849644

TPE Info:,-70.484952&center=41.7642,-70.4831&dt=20160502145700-0400&z=18&spn=0.00,0.01

Photo Data: taken on April 25, 2016 at 5:35 a.m. using a Canon 5D Mark iii with a Canon EF 16-35mm f/4 L lens at 16mm. Shot at F11 for 1 sec with .09 graduate ND filter. Processed in Lightroom

Location #1: this picture was shot looking straight east toward the rising sun. Depending on the tide, there are numerous vantage points. There is quite a bit of latitude for movement depending on the framing and position of sun desired, but care must be taken with the creek and sea grass.

Best time of day to visit: Certainly the hour before and after sunrise is excellent. Depending on the time of the year, you can usually get a good angle.

Best time of year to visit: Any time of year works. The sunrise is almost straight down the boardwalk in June and at a right angle in December. I like spring or fall for the best angle for the sun.  

Best type of light/weather: Infinite number of choices here as the elements of the location are very strong and adding the components of weather and light is your choice

Additional Equipment Needed: I strongly endorse TPE (The Photographer’s Ephemeris) App for planning your shot.  A tripod, polarizing/neutral density filter and shutter release are needed. I also like a good pair of waterproof boots for navigation if you choose to go down edge of the creek.  I would also bring a flashlight or headlamp and a walking pole to help navigate the mud. 

Additional Information: This site has many more photo opportunities as the boardwalk leads to the town beach. Some nice rock jetties provide interesting subject matter.