Looking to improve your waterfall photography skills?
Look no further.
The White Mountains of New Hampshire are home to some of the most dramatic, unique, and beautiful waterfalls you’re going to find anywhere, and I’d like to share them with you. With so many waterfalls in close proximity to one and other you’d be hard pressed to find a better location for learning the art of waterfall photography. Over the course of this 2 1/2 day workshop we may visit as many as a dozen unique waterfalls and cascades.
While in the field you’ll learn how to properly use a circular polarizing filter(see recommended gear list) and why I don’t leave home without one. You’ll also learn how to utilize shutter speed to create the motion blur most people are after when photographing moving water, and much, much more.
Participants will gather around noon in the North Conway area (location to be determined), where after brief introductions I’ll go over what to expect over the next two days. I’ll discuss gear selection, and briefly talk about techniques and camera settings for capturing compelling waterfall images. Then it’s off to our first waterfall to put it all together while you make your first waterfall photos of the weekend.
The weather over the weekend will greatly determine wake up times and the length of each morning and afternoon field sessions.
If we’re lucky enough to have a rainy weekend, (yes, that’s right, I did say lucky), we won’t have to worry about getting up at the crack of dawn to head out to our first waterfall of the day. Rainy overcast weather is without question the best conditions for photographing waterfalls. The nice even light of an overcast day makes setting exposure easy. Also, I think waterfall images look better when the rocks in and along the stream are wet from a light rain. It for these reasons I always hope for “bad” weather during my waterfall workshops.
If we are fortunate enough to have the perfect cloudy days for the duration of the workshop we may forego the mid-day break. Instead we’ll continue photographing until the mid-afternoon, after which we’ll grab a late lunch/early dinner prior to the image review and post processing session.*
However, if the weather forecast is for blue sky and sunshine we will need to get up before sunrise so that we may make the best use of the light available before the sun gets too high, creating the harsh lighting that will make exposure difficult. In the case of “too nice” weather, there will be a mid-day break which will include time to grab a bite to eat, as well as an image review and post processing session.*
*The image review and post processing sessions are up to the clients. Many of my previous clients have been quite comfortable with their knowledge of post processing techniques, so they would rather head to their hotel room in order to rest up for the afternoon or next day(depending on whether or not it’s overcast or sunny). If this is the case we’ll part company until the assigned meetup time when we head back out for some more waterfall fun.
Sunday will pretty much be a repeat of Saturday minus the image review and post processing sessions. Some participants may also wish to leave early depending on the length of their drive home.
What to expect.
Over the course of the weekend we’re going to visit some of New Hampshire’s finest waterfalls. Some are popular, with plenty of visitors, others, while equally spectacular are off the beaten path a bit.
Though several of the waterfalls we’ll be visiting are reached via well maintained gravel pathways, many of them will require light to moderate hiking over uneven terrain, with roots, rocks, and high steps up or down, that may be moderately steep in places. Good footwear is a must. Trekking poles are also an effective option for navigating some of the more root- and rock filled and steeper sections of trail. As such, attendees should have at least a basic level of fitness. You do not need to be ultra fit in order to attend, far from it, but my workshops are not for those who spend their time on the couch.
Where it’s safe to do so I encourage wading into the stream below the waterfalls for a unique perspective. But please remember, safety first! The wet rocks can be EXTREMELY slippery.
~ Two and a half days of waterfall photography in the beautiful White Mountains of New Hampshire.
~ Over the course of the weekend we’ll visit some of my favorite waterfalls. ~ On average you’ll have the opportunity to photograph 3-5 waterfalls per day.
~ Each day I’ll be sharing tips on exposure, composition, and the use of both circular polarizer and neutral density filters.
~ During the image review and post processing sessions I’ll share some of the enhancement techniques I use during the post processing of my images.* See note above under Saturday’s itinerary regarding image review and post processing sessions.
~ Meals, lodging, and transportation during the workshop. Carpooling among participants is strongly encouraged.
~ Parking fee. There is a day use fee throughout the White Mountain National Forest. The single day fee is $5 and is payable at the kiosks at most of the trail parking areas(cash only). You may also purchase an annual pass for $30, available at any of the USFS ranger stations.
Note: you only pay the day use fee once, NOT at each location. Simply save the stub from the payment envelope and display it on your dashboard.
~ Basic camera instruction. This is not a “Photography 101” class, you should be familiar with the basic operation and settings of your camera. Including how to set the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, as well as how to select an individual focus point, prior to attending any workshop. If you need basic photography instruction please contact me about a private, one-on-one workshop.
Pro Tip: Never let the camera select the autofocus (AF) point for you. Always select an individual AF point yourself.
What to bring.
~ Camera. Either a DSLR or mirrorless camera with at least one wide angle zoom lens.
~ Tripod. In order to capture that silky blur of the flowing water we’re going to be using longer exposure times. Therefore a good sturdy tripod is a must.
~ Circular polarizing filter (CPL). When photographing waterfalls I don’t leave home without my CPL. Pro Tip: buy a quality CPL that fits the lens with the largest diameter filter thread that you own. Then purchase inexpensive step-down rings to fit the filter to any lenses you may have with smaller filter thread diameters.
~ Micro fiber lens cloth. In fact, bring two. You’re going to need them to deal with the inevitable water droplets that find their way onto your lens.
~ Spare batteries for your camera, and the charger.
~ Rain jacket. If we’re lucky enough to get a rainy drizzly weekend, you’re going to want to stay dry.
~ Laptop with your image editing software of your choice installed. I use Adobe Lightroom along with the Nik Collection of creative plugins by DxO.
~ Neutral density filters.
ND filters can be used for extremely long exposure times.
~ Rain cover for your camera.
Most cameras, even those without any weather sealing will be fine in an occasional light drizzle. In this case I simply use a small pack towel(available in the camping section of your favorite outdoor retailer). For heavier rain you may want to invest in a weatherproof cover for your camera. These can cost as little as a few dollars for ones that are a glorified plastic bag, up to over $100 for a sturdier model that better fits your camera. Looking to save a few $$? Plastic shopping bags with a few strategically cut holes, along with a few rubber bands to hold them in place, make very effective rain covers.
I strongly recommend adding your gear to your home owners or renters insurance. The peace of mind of knowing that in the unlikely event of a dropped camera, a weather related failure, or theft, is well worth the price.
I always wear water shoes when photographing waterfalls because I rarely stay on dry land. However, not all “water shoes” are created equal. You’re going to want water shoes that have excellent traction on met rocks. My current water shoe of choice isn’t even a water shoe at all. The La Sportiva TX2 approach shoe is light weight and drains well, but most of all the rubber used for the soles sticks like glue to wet rocks. Whatever water shoes you wear, I highly recommend you find a river or stream near you and test their grip on wet rocks.
The cost for this weekend long waterfall adventure is $425.00
Space is limited to 6
A 50% deposit is required to reserve your space, with the balance due 30 days prior to the start date of the workshop.
White Mountain Waterfalls ~ Deposit
50% deposit, balance due 30 days prior to workshop start date.
White Mountain Waterfalls ~ Paid in Full
Tuition, paid in full, for White Mountain Waterfalls Workshop.