Photo by Lori Ransom
Waterfall photos are relatively simple to take if you are willing to spend the time. Many modern point and shoot cameras can even be set to take this kind of photo. You will need a camera, your camera's instruction manual, and a tripod. You may also want to have a polarizing filter, though this is not a requirement.
First, look at your instruction manual and find out how to set your camera for a long exposure, if you don't already know. My point and shoot camera calls this "long shutter" with a little moon and stars symbol for the menu selection.
Since you will be shooting with a long shutter speed, find a shaded place to shoot; otherwise your photo could wind up being overexposed. The good news is that there are many places in Arkansas that are so heavily shaded, you can shoot long exposures even when the sun is shining bright above the trees.
If you want to photograph in a sunny spot, wait until late evening. This will not only help with your exposure, but can improve the overall quality of light in your photos. If your camera allows you to set the aperture, try setting it at a higher number (smaller aperture) to give a correct exposure at lower shutter speeds. You can also use a polarizing filter to cut down on the amount of light reaching your film or camera sensor.
Now all you need to do is set up your camera on your tripod and compose your photo. Make sure you include some elements that will not move during your exposure. This will give your photo a focal point and will contrast with the moving element, the water.
Don't take only one photo, or even just a few. Try different shutter speeds, and bracket your exposures. Incorporate different elements into your photo: rocks, leaves, the surrounding foliage. Try positioning the waterfall at different places in your frame.
Experiment until you have something you are thrilled with.
For more information see this waterfall tutorial, these tips for shooting great waterfall photos, and this article on "waterfall digital photography." To see some great Arkansas waterfalls go to the Flickr Arkansas photo group, or check out this Photostream.