As a young photographer growing up in the Portland area, I was fascinated by waterfalls. Learning to photograph them well was my primary goal for many years. One of the first things you learn is to avoid sunny days. Bright sunlight creates way too much contrast for film or digital cameras to deal with.
The second thing you learn is that waterfalls have certain seasons where they look their best. Some look best during times of high water flow and some look best in the Summer when less water is flowing.
The video below shows Panther Creek Falls in the Southwest part of Washington State, near Mt. Adams. It was shot last May at maximum water flow. Two creeks tumble over the cliff at this spot, making this falls somewhat unusual.
Shooting video is a great way to capture a waterfall, especially on a nice cloudy day. Unfortunately, video has its own problem for the avid waterfall photographer - you can't turn the camera vertically! You have to use a different technique to show the whole waterfall from up close, or if the terrain allows, you can back up far enough to fit it into the horizontal frame. What I did here is to move the camera position, starting with the stream above the falls and working my way down.
The video runs less than two minutes. It was shot with my Canon 5D Mark III and a 28mm F/1.8 lens. Check it out and see what you think!
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