I am in New York this weekend with Rick Sammon. Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene just passed through the area. My discussion in NYC was cancelled so we spent the day shooting around Croton-on-Hudson.
We recorded a quick video discussing the top slow shutter speed and waterfall photography tips. Rick and I, along with Juan Pons and Jennifer Wu, did a battle of the sunset photo tips last year at the California Photo Festival (2011 California Photo Fest) so we thought we would do a smaller version.
The top tips on the video, and one or two more, were:
1. Use a tripod for stability. When shooting slow a tripod allows you to keep everything solid except for the moving water.
2. Use your cable release or camera's timer.
3. Bring a neutral density filter or polarizers.
4. Use live view.
5. Reference live view's magnification frame to act as an expanded spot meter for perfect exposure. I normally place the frame over the brightest area of the water I am trying to blur. This area is normally (but not always) the shot's highlight and drives the overall exposure.
6. After the shot reference your histogram to make sure the exposure is tight.
7. Target half a second as your shutter speed. As water speed changes you may need more or less.
8. Keep a lens cloth and absorbent cloth nearby to wipe your lens and LCD.
9. Maintain your SA (situational awareness,) always look behind you to make sure you are not missing a great shot.
Those were just a few we thought of on the spot in beautiful Croton-on-Hudson, NY.