Landscape Photography: Capturing the Dynamics of Waterfalls


Waterfalls are impressive because of their vertical nature and the speed of the falling element. They can also be found in a wide variety of environments, such as forests, wasteland, on the coast or in the mountains. Perfect conditions for versatile recordings. Waterfalls can be a picture-filling motif or an aspect of the surrounding landscape that serves as a secondary compositional element. Their versatility has a particular appeal that makes me want to add at least two or three waterfalls to my respective itinerary.

Landscape photography knows a great variety of subjects. Our articles help to discover these and to capture them with the right technique.

Whether you visit a waterfall in spring, summer, autumn or winter makes a huge difference. In Central Europe, the best time to visit a forest waterfall is usually spring or autumn, when the surrounding foliage or other vegetation is either vibrant green or dominated by autumn hues. Moss in particular on larger stones works best in spring or early summer when it is lush and bright. The water surfaces are colorless depending on the depth and the proportion of white water (mineral suspended matter), so it can be worthwhile to include the surrounding colors as an eye-catcher in the picture.

It can also happen that there is not enough water in the stream at certain times of the year. Several times I have had the situation that a waterfall had so little water that I had to come back at another time. How much water is the correct amount, however, is in the eye of the beholder. It can be useful to check the amount of precipitation on site before leaving to be sure that there is enough water, especially in small bodies of water, and that the journey is worthwhile. On the other hand, after long periods of rainfall, you can also find a brown muddy river because the water carries too much sediment with it.

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