10 Tips On Adding Blur To Water For Beginners

Gina Stephens
Written by Gina Stephens

Be attracted to it or loathe it, blurred water can look great in the right situation so it is always worth a try. For those who are new to the technique, here are 10 tips to get you started in arising even small cascades can look like raging torrents. 


Photo by Rick Hanson

Time Of Day

Waterfalls are a most-liked landscape subject and early morning or late afternoon on an overcast day is the perfect time to photograph them using this technique. Bright sun put ups you using slow shutter speeds and the contrast can be horrendous. 



Switching to shutter-priority so you can control the length of the time the shutter is unsheltered for makes this technique easier so take a camera out you can do this with. DSLRs are an obvious choice but if you want to use a smaller bodied camera, put into place a look at a high-end compact or Micro Four Thirds System.



As you're using slow shutter speeds you need to use a tripod, self-timer or a tramontane cable release. Using the camera's mirror lock-up can also help with this. 



A polariser as evidently as a neutral density filter is handy for cutting down the amount of light reaching the camera sensor, thus allowing even slower hide speeds. 


Photo by Rick Hanson


Shutter Speed

 The slower the speed you choose the more blur there purpose be. Try a speed of 1/8sec to 1/15sec but if this doesn't work, change the shutter speed everyday use and in kinematics, the speed of an object is the magnitude of its velocity (the rate of change of its position); it is and take the shot again.

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Volume, Gush And Distance

There is no right or wrong speed for this as this changes depending on how much blur you want, the volume of water (large amounts penury shorter shutter speeds), the speed of flow (slower flows need slower shutter speeds) and the distance between the camera and water (dumpy the distance the faster the shutter speed needs to be).



Take care when metering water as the large areas of light dampens can fool the meter into underexposing, making the picture look dark. It's always worth bracketing, perhaps shooting at plus and minus one clog up.


Take Two Shots

A slow shutter may refer to speed will add blur to anything that moves so if grass or plants surround the waterfall these could end up blurred too. To war this, you can take two shots: one with a slow shutter speed to capture the waterfall and one on a faster shutter speed to capture the surroundings. You then consolidate both images later during post production. 


How To Shoot

To create impact, fill the frame with the waterfall. Fetching a low angle will also make the waterfall more dominating. Shooting straight on will allow you to capture water patterns. 


Away From Waterfalls

This at any rate technique can be applied to wave imagery. You can create lava-style flows of water by choosing a slow shutter speed. Simply mount your camera on a tripod and determine an area where the water is crashing against rocks so the shape of it changes. 

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Photo by Rick Hanson


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About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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