Fountains, waterfalls, lakes, a puddle, the ocean… water is undoubtedly one of the most charming and fascinating element to portray and capture with a camera.
Thanks to the many reflections and shapes it has, it is indeed one of the most photographed subject worldwide and it can be rendered in many ways, both as a dynamic or as a static element. In this post we want to give you some ideas to capture water in many of its aspects…
Once you find yourself in front of a lake or a small lagoon, you can choose to emphasize its calm by using water as a mirror and portray the reflections on its surface of elements like animals, lights, trees, buildings or clouds. In this case avoid use the flash because its light would be reflected in the water too, ruining the whole effect of the picture.
Moreover, when you stand looking at the sea or at the ocean you can decide to capture the sky or the light of the sun shining on the surface of the water, trying to portray a wide view, above all during the golden hour.
Usually, when shooting a landscape it could be better to set the camera on a long depth of field and add a subject like a ship or a black shape in the frame, to make the picture a little bit more intriguing.
Interesting things could happen even under the level of the water; if you want to capture what’s inside the lake, like fishes, rocks and leaves, an helpful instrument you should use is the polarizing filter, able to diminish the glaze of the sun on the surface of the pond.
This filter not only diminishes the reflections on bright surfaces, but also creates richer and vivid colors increasing the tonal saturation within the frame; these characteristics make it an essential tool even for panoramic shots.
Capturing these light moments and nice details helps you to stress the illusory static condition of water in contrast with the environment all around, particularly if it is chaotic and noisy.
Another important tool you would love to use while shooting to capture water is a Neutral Density “ND” filter, by which you will be able to balance the exposure and capture some colors that a camera can’t handle by itself.
Water, by the way, can even be a powerful element and you can choose to capture its force in a shot. Waterfalls are one of the most impressive natural example of this, and they are for this reason one of the most photographed subjects everywhere.
You can decide to capture its movement rendering water with a more natural aspect by using a fast shutter speed, or otherwise, you can decide to give your picture a more ghostly effect portraying water as smooth and silky. This effect can be achieved by using a very slow shutter speed and a tripod.
There are several other ways to capture water, among which splashes and drops as we suggested you in this post. By the way, to get more creative pictures, we want to offer you one last idea: you can ask your son, nephew or dog to play with water.
While they are having fun, try to capture their hands, feet or happy faces together with the water splashes. In this case timing is crucial and probably one of the best suggestion we can give you is to experiment with your camera and try to find the perfect settings for that moment.