Photographing Iguazu Falls: Exploring Photography with Mark Wallace: AdoramaTV


In this episode we will be shooting
Iguazu Falls. AdoramaTV presents Exploring Photography with Mark Wallace. Hi everybody, welcome to another episode of exploring photography brought to you
by Adorama. The camera store has everything for
photographers, you can check them out at Adorama.com Well today on Exploring Photography
we’re gonna do something a little bit different, I call on a ride-along, so I’ll be teaching you some principles of
photography. We’re gonna take some of those things that we’ve already learned
put them into practice as I shoot one of the most amazing things in
the world, one of the natural wonders of the world, it’s Iguazu Falls. These massive waterfalls that
span Brazil and Argentina, in fact that’s where I am right now.
I’m in a little hostel just a few miles from the waterfalls. What I want to do is
walk you through what I want to put my camera bag, and some other things I’m gonna bring
along, and then as we walk through the park we’ll put those into practice. Now I’m
gonna be shooting with my Canon 5D Mark III, and I’m only
bringing one lens, that’s my 16-35 millimeter f2.8L lens. Now the reason I’m doing that
is a couple of days ago we scouted the falls and we did that he’s my little
Fuji X10, now this is a few years old, the new
Fuji is, I think it’s the X30, can get that. It’s a great little camera for just
zipping around. Now we really wanted to see exactly what was what it was like at the Falls, and what I
found was, there are a massive amount people there, I was
planning on trying to do some really slow shutter, dragging the shutter so we could get
some water like glass, like we shot in Ecuador. Now that would require a tripod, but guess
what, there’s no way I can use a tripod because there are so many people it’s just
too crowded and so instead of bringing a tripod, what
I’ll be doing is, this tripod allows me to convert it to a monopod, so I’m actually going
to take this center column out, and take on these legs off here. This is
my Benro Travel Angel II Carbon Fiber Tripod. So I’m not bringing this part but I am
going to bring my monopod and that will allow me to
stick this against the rail to try to hold my camera steady. I’m not sure if that’s gonna work, but
that’s the strategy. So I’ve got my camera, my lens, my monopod. I’m going to be taking a lot of pictures, I
wanna make sure to run out of juice, so I’m carrying an extra battery as well. The other thing I’ll be
doing is, I’m going to be using some filters. I’ve got a little bad with a few filters
in it, and most notably I have a circular polarizer. Now, what this guy is going to
do is allow me to twist and that’s going to change the
polarization of the things on the water. So if we have a lot to reflections off of leaves, or the water, or mist, the sun
coming through, I can turn that circular polarizer to eliminate some of that glare that’s
going to help me out. Anytime you have lots of reflections you want to use this circular polariser and, we’re also gonna be able to make the sky
little bit deeper blue. The other thing I have here in my little kit, I
have two ND 4, neutral density filters, so I’ll be able to put those on the end of the lens and
try and see if I can shoot and drag the shutter, and let that
waterfall turn into glass. I’m not sure if that’s going to work, but I’ve got two ND 4 filters to
really darken the lens, so got my filters, I’ve got my camera, my monopod, my extra battery. I’m not bringing my Fuji, I just wanted to
show you what I shot with a few days ago to scout with. But this is what I’m going to be bringing, and throwing all of that into my Tenba trusty 24L shootout bag, will be
taking that. So what we’re gonna be doing now is
we’re gonna be walking through the park, and because we’re so restricted we can
bring a tripod for the video camera so it’s all gonna be hand-held, so you’re going to have to forgive, we have a little bit of shake. Plus, we’ve got
just thousands and thousands of people. So we’re probably Lexis is shooting, it’s probably going to be jostled, and so please forgive if we have some bumps in the video
because that just par for the course where we’re going. I’ll be shooting, I’ll
be telling you what I’m doing as I’m doing it, and if I can I’ll be a little voice over. So let’s pack all this step up, and let’s
head over to Iguazu Falls. Well, we’re here at Iguazu National Park, here’s a map of the entire park. Now the shot
that I really wanted when we were planning this entire trip is to shoot right here, unfortunately one of the problems is there
was a huge flood that came in from Brazil in fact, this side is Argentina, this side of the falls is Brazil. We wanted to show how all these waters came over on two countries. But there was a huge flood, and so
actually this entire infrastructure up here has been washed away and so we can’t get up there. So this,
the only way to shoot that is to take a boat up the river which is really
expensive, or we’d have to cross over into Brazil, and
hike in and shoot from this angle, and unfortunately we just don’t have time to
do that. So the original plan was to shoot that, that’s out, and so in our scouting
a couple days ago we actually hiked this trail right here and found that this
section right here is pretty amazing and so that’s where
we’re going to be heading. We’re going to be heading over into this area here, and shooting this way. We’re gonna miss the big
falls over here but we are going to see elongated things, and that really can make a
difference in how we shoot. So scouting really makes an
important part of your photo journey because how we had planned on shooting
this, we’d be really disappointed if that’s the only shot that we got. So we’re heading over here to shoot this, and so let’s go. Well this is the very first
sighting on the falls that we have here, and as you can see, everybody wants to stop
and see the falls, their first citing. There are dozens, perhaps
at least 100 people here right now, and so when you’re trying to take pictures
you’re competing with all these people. So what I want to do is get to the end of
this trail before all these people do, because I know where the best spot is, and I don’t want to have to wrestle these guys and elbow my way in, and so I want to make a beeline to the end of this to try to beat all of these people, so that I can get the
shot that they can’t because there’s too many people standing in the way. Alright, the next thing I’m doing here, I
just put two neutral density filters on the end of my lens, that’s really gonna knock
the light down quite a bit. What I’m gonna try to do is use this monopod, sort of as a tripod, and put it against the
rail and try to hold my camera extremely still so maybe I can drag the shutter and get a
one, or two second exposure to make that water turn into glass. I’m
not so sure a monopod is gonna get it, but maybe holding it against the rail
will be successful. A tripod would be much better but you can see that there are people everywhere and so trying to put a tripod
here just won’t work in this situation, so we’ll try this out and see
how it goes. Right so what I’ve done here, I have my monopod and
I’m holding that as tightly as possible against this rail here. Now that’s gonna hold it from going up and
down vertically but, we still have some left and right issues, so I’ll do my best the hold that. This is, I’m shooting at f22 at ISO 100. That’s
telling me I’m just a little over a half of a second of a, an exposure. So I’m not sure I can
hold it that long but I’ll try my best. So here we go, let’s see what happens. Alright, well this is the spot and luckily there’s
nobody here here. There were hundreds of people here just two days ago, but this is the the
spot where everybody wants to shoot. So, I’m going to camp out here as long as
possible. I’m going to shoot with my neutral density filters, I’ll shoot without. But this is the glorious Iguazu Falls, we
can see Argentina on this side, we can see Brazil
on the other side, it’s just spectacular. I’m shooting really wide here, I’m shooting at a 16mm, I’ve got two neutral density filters going, I’m using manual focus. My exposure is half a second. One of the issues with using this platform as a tripod. When people walk it actually shakes my tripod. I’m using the lines inside my view finder to try to make sure that everything is horizontal, and level. I’m positive I’ll have to do some adjustments in post production. Alright, let’s get those neutral density filters off, and shoot some normal images as quickly as possible, there are people waiting here, to shoot in this spot. Ok so here we go, still at f22. Now my exposure has jumped up, I’m going to go down to about f14, f13, so I can get at about an 80th of a second. At 100th of a second, f13. I’m going to bracket a little bit, I don’t know when I’ll be back here so. I’m using exposure compensation to bracket these shots. Well I had a lot of fun shooting at Iguazu Falls, I want to show you the results of these pictures that I took. But before we do I wanna
remind you that Adorama has great photography contests so if you shot some
amazing landscape photography you can enter that
contest and win some great prizes. So click the link, and enter today. Well I’ve taken some of the shots, or all the shots that I took today, I threw them into post production, did some
tweaking to them, and here are the best of shots, I think I have one or two shots that I really
like from today. The key to the shoot today was the first
scouting day, to try to figure out where to shoot, what the crowds were gonna be like, what
kind of equipment I can bring, all that stuff. So if you’re shooting
something like this and you have a couple of days, make sure you scout first. Then once you
do that, the wide-angle lens works great, and then of course just making sure that we will be able to hold this camera still, and
avoid the crowds. Well thank you so much for joining me today. Don’t forget you can subscribe to
AdoramaTV so you don’t miss a single episode, so just click the link and
subscribe today! Thanks again for joining me and I’ll see
you again next time. Do you want great-looking prints low-cost? Be sure
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27 Replies to “Photographing Iguazu Falls: Exploring Photography with Mark Wallace: AdoramaTV

  1. Argentinas side is good, but i think Brazil is much better. I've got some amazing shots of garganta del diablo, so sorry you couldnt go there

  2. Why bring such a (comparatively) huge backpack for a camera and a single lens? And if you're going to schlepp around that much bulk anyway, why not bring the other two legs of the tripod as well? It looks like there was ample opportunity to use it at the second location.

  3. It's probably a good thing that you decided not to take the boat. They usually goes really close to the falls and you come back really drenched. You'd probably need a waterproof box for the camera.

  4. Perfect timing! haha, I'm going there in a couple of weeks, now I'm better prepared for it, thank you guys, keep it up!

  5. Thanks for explaining what equipment you were taking for the shoot, and why.  I wonder how you secured other equipment while you were out on the shoot?  Also (inquiring minds want to know): have you abandoned the Spontaneous World blog? I liked reading that, and got worried when it was not updated after Banos Ecuador. 

  6. I dont see the reason for f/22 or f/11 for these photos.  Nearly all of the visible elements are far beyond 2 meters. So setting the focus manually on 3 meters and with a focal length of 16mm the depth of field goes from 1,33 meters to infinity by using a aperture of f/5.6 (source: DOFMaster).  Best thing is, that your shutter speed will be much faster and you may even handhold these photos.

  7. Hey mark , how come if you had 2 days at this site did you not go up to the falls at dawn or dusk for better light and less tourists ?

  8. Great video, Mark! You should visit Chapada Diamantina as it is one of the most beautiful landscapes in Brazil. Boa sorte!

  9. Has anyone notice there is a big foot behind Mark by the water fall approximately towards his right shoulder ..

  10. Thanks Mark for this super video! I'm planning to go there this Spring but everywhere I read they tell not to bring your camera because you're gonna get wet. I can see in your video that you have not covered your camera. Any places TO AVOID with the camera? Or any suggestion to keep my camera dry Thanks!

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