Photographing waterfalls at Hunua Falls

I love a good waterfall and they don’t get much better than Hunua Falls.

We went there yesterday and I spent ages playing around with my camera taking shots of the waterfall.

One of the things I love about photographing waterfalls is the many different ways you can use your camera to capture the water falling in different ways. So if you are looking for a few tips when photographing waterfalls then read on….

Hunua Falls

No long exposure here – see the difference in the water…

1. Put your camera in manual mode. Most cameras have this – it’s even on some smart phones. And the great news is – in all photography just things you need to control – the aperture, shutter speed and the ISO.

2. If you want to slow down the flow of water to make it almost like silk like I have done in this photo you are going to have to shoot with a slow shutter speed. I shot this at 6 seconds. Which brings me to my next point…

Hunua Falls

Slowing down the water with a long exposure

3. Bring a tripod. Even the most steady hand can’t hold a camera still on long exposure.

4. Everything in photography is related – if you increase your shutter length you will let in more light, so you need to pull it back somewhere else. To do this you need to pull your ISO down as low as it will go – mine was at 100. And pull your aperture in as small as it will go – mine was at f/32.

Hunua Falls

5. Cloudy days work best for photographing waterfalls but even if the sun is shining there are work arounds. I held a polarising lens up in front of this shot (because it wouldn’t fit on my lens). I’m not sure about this but potentially sunglasses would work the same.

My settings for this were 6 seconds, f/32, ISO 100. I was (rather randomly) shooting with a 100mm macro lens because it had the smallest aperture and I takes beautiful pictures and had a polariser to reduce light. They won’t work for everyone but they are a good place to start. Good luck and we’d love to see your waterfall photos!

Hunua Falls

Hunua Falls is a great scenic drive from Auckland on on the way back make sure you stop in to John Hill Estate for some awesome views and delicious food.

Hunua Falls