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Alex Otto • Photographing Waterfalls

Do go chasing waterfalls: these cascades of colour are an often-untapped subject; Alexander Otto gives us a smart guide filled with tips and tricks on how to make the water work for you

Among the myriads of possible motifs for landscape photography, there is one that attracts photographers frequently: the interplay between water and land – be it a creek, a shoreline or a waterfall. It is the most obvious scene to unveil the different effects of shutter speed and thus may fascinate those who are just starting out in photography. However, it also lives in the juxtaposition of the dynamism of water with the static nature of the land. This creates an interesting contrast within which we can produce countless compositions, guided by the flow of the water or directed by rocks, trees and topography of the land.

Waterfalls are especially interesting because of their vertical nature and the speed of the falling water. Also, they occur in all sorts of different surroundings – forests and wastelands, on the coast or the mountains – making them an interesting aspect that can lend itself as a central focal point of an image, while also creating opportunities for leading lines within the frame. Not only for those reasons alone I was, and still am, fascinated with shooting waterfalls. Their visual quality and versatility have a special charm which always makes me add at least two or three waterfalls to my shooting itinerary of a trip whenever possible.

This article delves deeper into these different facets and offers some artistic and technical advice you may find interesting. Whether you are planning to shoot waterfalls or already shoot them on a regular basis, I aim to add a different spin.

The first thing to take into consideration is ...

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About Author

Alex Otto

Nicolas Alexander Otto is a young landscape photographer based in Germany. Starting out back in 2008, what once was a sporadic past time has slowly become a semi-professional part time job.

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