Photographing Waterfalls – Fast or Slow Shutter Speed

08 Mar

I love seeing waterfalls. In Singapore we don’t have the natural wonder in our habitat. But waterfalls can be made. As a young kid, I remembered vividly staring at the tall waterfall in the Singapore Bird Park. The waterfall is still there, last I heard. Haven’t been there longer than a decade. Due for a visit soon.

But in this post, I will be talking about another waterfall. At the Merlion Park in Sentosa, cascades of waterfalls surround the base of the Merlion. Experimenting with different shutter speed yields different results.

In this photo, a faster shutter speed of 1/60 seconds was used. A slight freeze in the water movement result in more droplets. Increasing the shutter speed would result in more frozen moment.

Fast Shutter Speed

For this photo, the slower shutter speed of 1/15 seconds was used instead. This results in blurry movement of water, which is my preference.

Slow Shutter Speed

Ideally using tripods are the recommendation for using slow shutter speed to prevent any shaky photos. But it is not possible to do so in every situation. I just prefer to travel light so very rarely do I use a tripod. In such a case, just use whatever support is available on scene. If there are railings, place the camera on the railing for support or lean back against a lamppost. After a while, it becomes a bit of second nature.

Best of luck in your shooting!


Posted by on March 8, 2011 in photography, postaday2011


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2 responses to “Photographing Waterfalls – Fast or Slow Shutter Speed

  1. Galen Leeds Photography

    October 7, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    Nice photographs and examples of the uses of different shutter speeds. When I go on longer hikes of many kilometers, I will often take hiking poles with me (they look a little like ski poles) and they are very handy, because they can help support the camera, but are useful in hiking too (unlike a tripod). They are especially steady if you use them with a tree to help stabilize.

    • hasayang

      October 8, 2011 at 3:06 pm

      Yeah to hiking poles! I have those but never thought to bring them along since most hikes back home are short distance. Thanks for the tips! 🙂


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