The Art of Shooting photos on the Riverwalk – Day Photography.

As I traveled cross country this summer, I was reminded of how often we find ourselves wanting to take great pictures and record our memories but with such different conditions for which to prepare.   This series is intended to help you take amazing River Walk pictures in the simplest way possible.  I’ve taken basic photos without any professional gadgets.  First up, we will tackle the daylight River Walk photography with a flash for your basic candids.

I recommend:

  1. A camera with a flash that you can turn on or off
  2. A light tripod for getting pictures of your family *optional
  3. Smiling faces!
The River Walk is especially known for the warm cozy accessibility of the River and its walkways.  One cannot travel very far without finding another gorgeous vista to photograph.  A great photographer can shoot anytime but most prefer shooting early morning and at sunset.  These photos have an alluring warm charm to them and the beauty around you is easy to capture.  Try and make your trip early and take advantage of some great cool weather photos.  However, most of us will find ourselves out there in the middle of the day trying to get great photos.  This is still possible with the use of some basic tips.
The Flash
It is sometimes counter to your instincts to use a flash when it’s incredibly bright outside but it can help minimize the shadows that occur across the faces of your subjects.  They are usually pretty stark in the middle of the day and even in the mornings and evenings it helps to get a great view of those lovely smiles.  I recommend however that you find a nice shady spot, place your subjects there with a picturesque background using your flash to light them.  It makes all the difference as you can see below.
Shady Photography, no flash

Shady Photography, no flash

Shady Photography, with a flash

Shady Photography, with a flash

Also, even in full sun, the flash can be helpful though the results are much less dramatic.
Full sun photograph, no flash

Full sun photograph, no flash

Full sun photograph, flash
Full sun photograph, flash

Though many of us do not have or want to lug around a tripod, it’s great when traffic is light on the River Walk.  Otherwise you’ll find yourself surrounded by people more than willing to snap a pic of you and your group so that you don’t get left out.  Make sure that you know how to set the timer on your camera.  Your camera manual should have a section titled, “Self Timer”.  Take the time; it is worth it.  The tripod will also be very useful if you end up taking some night shots.  We will cover that in  a future post.
Darlene on the River, flash

Darlene on the River, flash

Picture Perfect Vistas

  • Pearl Brewery
  • The Grotto in the Museum Reach
  • Weston Centre
  • The AT&T Lock & Dam
  • Embassy Suites waterfall
  • The stone bridge in front of Omni La Mansion, nicknamed “Selena Bridge”
  • The stone bridge in front of Casa Rio Restaurant
  • Marriage Island
  • The Waterfalls on the river side of the new Briscoe Museum
  • The Historic Civic Center at the river end of Main Plaza

This is far from a complete list, but as a photographer, I must keep my secrets.  These tips should get you started.  I should mention, that if you are out on the River, make sure to wear walking shoes, get your sunscreen on, and carry some water.  This is the River WALK after all.  Alternately, you can get a Rio Taxi ticket for $15 and ride to all these spots instead.  Come down and find your own favorite spot.

– Carlos Herrera

Carlos Herrera Photography

Carlos Herrera Photography


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