Waterfalls can be interesting subjects to capture. This photo, taken by Paul Bica, uses a long exposure to capture the water in this smooth silky flow. The exposure for such shots needs to be at least a couple of seconds. Setting the exposure to more than a second during the day time can be tricky. To achieve this, you should first set the camera’s ISO setting to the lowest ISO possible (most likely 100). I usually take such shots in AV mode (aperture priority) with the aperture set to the smallest possible size. This works well since you usually wouldn’t mind getting an extremely high depth of field. The small aperture allows the minimum possible amount of light and ensures that the right exposure happens with a long/slow shutter speed.

In most day light conditions, you’ll probably still find it difficult to get a exposure long enough to give the smooth effect. If you are only a couple of f-stops away, you could try adding a polarizer which you may have or underexposing the photo a couple of stops. It’s very likely that this wouldn’t help much either. In most cases you’re probably going to have to get your self a neutral density filter. The neutral density filters block all visible light equally hence the name ‘neutral’. Since some of the light is blocked by the filter, you can now reduce the shutter speed further, getting the blurry white water you want. As with all long exposure shots, you will need a good tripod to keep the camera steady with the shutter is open.

Another important tip for such photos is that using a remote shutter release helps avoid camera shake due to the pressure of the finger depressing the shutter button.

Another long exposure shot

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