Craggy Gardens - Blue Ridge Parkway, June 2017Craggy Gardens - Blue Ridge Parkway, June 2017

A Great Landscape Photography Tool

October 11, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

There are so many camera gadgets out there today.  Sellers try to lure you into buying trying to raise your hopes they will improve your photographs.  While some are essential, e.g., tripod, circular polarizers, neutral density filters, many make promises they can't keep.  The surest way to make better photos is to learn how to use your camera and some composition basics.

However, I have found one unconventional piece of camera "gear" that you may not think much about.  Water boots.  Yup, water boots.  Now I have waterproof hiking boots but that's not what I'm talking about.  I'm talking about those knee high rubber boots.

A friend of mine gave me an extra pair he had and I can't believe I didn't get them sooner.  Since I really love waterfalls and do not really enjoy getting my feet wet, I was limiting the compositions I could get.  I would just slip on some cheap beach shoes for some level of foot protection but in western North Carolina the water in the streams is very cold.  This limits how long I stay in the water.  When I use water boots, I'm very comfortable and can move around easily provided the water is not higher than the boots.  

I find know that my compositional possibilities have increased when I visit waterfalls or cascades now.  I have revisited waterfalls and found new ways to photograph them.  Many are much better.

Of course, there are a few downsides of using boots or just getting in the water for that matter.  The primary one is you slip and your equipment takes a bath and no longer works.  Not to mention you could get hurt too.  The other is that they weigh more than regular hiking boots.  I slip them on before I hit the trail and just hike in them vs. trying to carry them with me.  They're pretty comfortable to hike in.  But when you do a two mile hike downhill to your destination they seem a lot heavier when you have to walk back uphill.  It is worth it to me for the flexibility they provide.  When I visit a new location, I try to determine if there will be any benefit in wearing them.  I talk to others who have been there or looked at videos to see if I see compositions from being in the water.  But when in doubt, I wear them.  So far so good.

So if you like waterfalls and moving water, think about water boots.  They just may become essential gear you always want to have with you.


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