A beginners guide to photographing Geysers

While geysers and hot springs may not top everyone’s list when they go to Iceland, New Zealand, or Yellowstone, once you catch a glimpse of these magnificent phenomenon you would be hard pressed to put your camera down.

So here is a complete beginner’s guide to how to photograph geysers and hot springs.

I was recently lucky enough to be leading a photography holiday through Iceland in conjunction with Travel Department and Dublin Photography School and had an opportunity to teach the group some of the most common ways to photograph these wonders.

1. Shoot in burst mode
Shoot in burst mode

Shoot in burst mode to take multiple shoots in a row

2. Turn Auto Focus to manual and Pre-focus your camera or turn on af-c, ai servo mode.
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prefocus on the base of the geyser as this will stop shutter lag when the action happens

3. Stand upwind of the geysers as all you will photograph is steam downwind and if too close to the geyser may actually get a soaking.
Stand upwind of the geysers as all you will photograph is steam downwind.

Stand upwind of the geysers as all you will photograph is steam downwind.

4. To freeze motion you will need to set your camera to at least 400 ISO
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use a high iso about 400-800 depending on the light to allow higher shutter speeds

5. Shoot in TV or S mode and set a Shutter speed of at least 1/1500 or faster
shutter-priority-mode-Tv

set camera dial to TV for Canon or S mode for Nikon

6. Try to compose your shoot with something to demonstrate scale
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use objects such as signs and boulders to add a sense of scale

6. Water can be very bright and can fool your light meter so be prepared to review you histogram and slightly under exposure your shoot by up to a stop by using EV Compensation
Exposure-Compensation

Exposure compensation allows you to override the camera metering and adjust the exposure.

7. You can also add a Circ Pol filter to enhance definition by reducing glare and removing reflections and boosting colors. see a Dublin photography school video here on how to use them
photography filters

A Circ Pol Filter reduces glare and saturates colors

8. There are many ways to photography these wonders of nature; this is just one simple way, once you got your safe shoots move on to experimenting with long exposures and bracketing or multiple exposures.

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Should you have enjoyed this Photography Article, feel free to nip over to our website which specializes in photography courses. Here you can find a free copy of Snapshot Photography magazine, as well as information on photography holidays in Ireland, Iceland and Europe.

Stewart Kenny is a fine art landscape photographer and is head of training at Dublin Photography School. Stewart’s passion is black and white and regularly leads tours and lectures around Ireland when not providing photography courses with Dublin Photography School.

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