How To Capture The Power Of A River

Photographing A River Without A Vanishing Point

I am asked at times about my technique I use when I photograph rivers. The simple answer would be “try to capture the rivers intensity and power.” I do this with a couple of tricks in composition including removing the pictures vanishing point.


Removing the Vanishing Point

  • Experiment with taking photos of rivers without using a vanishing point as what draws the eye to the photo
  • Emphasizing the rivers texture will give the picture character which is especially important if there is no vanishing point
  • Finding a point of focus for a river is harder without using a vanishing point so capturing a strong line in the picture like the one created above by the white water vs. the calm water is one way to give the piece a point of focus.


  • Look for a time when the sun is hitting the water at maybe a 45 degree angle, this will give the water surface more texture
  • Look for opportunities to get visually captivating reflections off of the waters surface


  • Fill the area of view with the river to make it the main focus
  • Break the borders on at least 2 sides with the river, 3 makes the composition look more interesting

If you want to show me your photos I would be really interested to see what you guys are doing. Leave your picture in the comments or email me.

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