Photographing Bodies of Water

February 25, 2021

Photographing bodies of water can create stunning images. In this post, we hope you will find a few new ideas and tips to improve your overall landscape photography, and get the most out of photographing bodies of water. 

Use the Reflection


Using water to photograph a reflection can be a blank canvas you can work with and a creative way to add a twist to your image. All you need to get started is a location with a still body of water, such as a pond, or a lake. After you have found the perfect spot for photographing the reflection, it is best to use a tripod and a remote shutter release to avoid any movementotherwise, the quality of the reflection in the photo could diminish 

If you try to photograph moving water with the idea of capturing reflection, the water portion of the photwill be a blurred color, as opposed to a still reflectionYou can create either of these images in real-time or in postproduction 

Do you have some stunning images of still water without reflection? Check out our video of how to add a reflection in post-production 

Soft Water 


Creating a blurred soft water effect can result in some stunning photos by creating an amazing contrast between the still ground and the rushing water. To create this effect, you will need to use a long exposure by changing the shutter speed on your camera. shutter speed of 1/8 will begin to create a blurred effect on the moving water. You can play around with the shutter speed settings to determine what works best for the shot you are trying to take. When creating soft water images, it is best to use a tripod as you do not want to move the camera and make the rest of the shot blurry. For the best results when blurring water, use a streamriveror waterfall as the rushing water creates a sense of motion.  

Ocean photography  


There is so much you can create when photographing the ocean. You could say there is a sea of possibilities. In fact, there is so much that you can do with the ocean by just being on land! When taking photos of the ocean, set the scene and think of the shots you want to achieve before you arrive at your destination. Incorporate the beach, the sand, rocks, sea life, or people. Take all your gear when you go to the beach because you never know what you will find or what you will need to capture that memorable seaside photo. If you can go in the daytime, try taking some detailed, bright photos of the sea life in tidepools, or use a telephoto lens and take some photos of distant mountains or ships. Another option is to go at Golden Hour and take some stunning sunset photos. If you can catch the tide coming in around some rocks, be sure to take long exposure shots to give your photos a soft water look.  

Do you have the ability to get out on the open ocean? Depending on where you are located, while you are out on the water you can get some stunning photos of wildlife, such as whales, dolphins, eagles, seals, and sea lions 

Do you live in a surfer town? Paddle out and get some shots of surfers and waves! If you want to do this, you will need a regular shutter speed between 1/250 to 1/4000 depending on what works best for you.  

There are so many options when taking photos of the ocean.  



Capturing a splash can cause a flurry of amazing photos. You can capture a moment in time of pure joy as a child splashes in the water, or a dog goes for a swim! To get the most out of a splash, you need to have a higher shutter speed around 1/1000 to 1/4000 to make sure you are freezing each droplet of water.  

Protect your Gear! 


You will need to be careful when photographing water, because as you already know, camera gear can be durable, but it is not waterproof. All you really need to do is be careful and mindful with your gear. For instance, you can place your camera and gear in a dry bag. This will offer perfect protection if you accidentally drop your camera in the water. Dry bags do exactly what you need them to do, keep your stuff dry! You can also purchase waterproof bags specifically for your camera.  

A second tip is to make sure your tripod is steady and secure, especially if you are doing soft water shots. As you can imagine, things can go terribly wrong if your tripod falls in the water.   


We hope that you enjoyed this blog and get a chance to try out some of these tips and ideas next time you are out in nature!  



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