- Use a sturdy tripod to steady the camera.
- A longer shutter speed, from 1/15 sec to 4 or more seconds will give you that blurring effect that makes the water appear silky.
- Experiment with different shutter speeds. The amount of available daylight and the amount of water rushing over the falls will help dictate exactly which shutter speed will capture the scene the best.
- Try to pick a time of day when the falls are evenly lit. For example, if the sun is shining brightly on the top of the falls and not at the bottom, the scene will prove to be too contrasty for a successful image.
- Compose the image with the rule of thirds. In other words, do not autofocus the falls right in the middle of the viewfinder.
- Crop out uninteresting or cluttered areas as you compose the image.
- Get close for different angles. You may want to take a towel with you as the spray from waterfalls may reach your camera and lens.
- Try a polarizer. Circular polarizers will cut out glare and will allow you to slow the shutter speed as you will lose light with the polarizer on the lens.
- Try a neutral density filter to further slow the shutter speed.
- Time your visit after it rains. Rain will not only give the falls more volume, it will also dampen the rocks and vegetation giving each more saturation in color and in tone.
Robin Conover has spent the last 33 years documenting the people and places of Tennessee with The Tennessee Magazine. After graduating from Murray State University, Robin began working for magazine in October 1988 as a communications specialist and photojournalist. She now serves as TECA vice president of communications and editor of The Tennessee Magazine. Her interest in preserving the environment and Tennessee’s beautiful natural areas has led her down many miles of trails to capture thousands of images. Robin is currently a board member of the Friends of Radnor Lake, a nonprofit in Nashville. Robin’s images can be seen in greeting cards, calendars, books and at a few fine-art shows she participates in each year.