Tag Archives: Indian Run Falls

Less is More

In addition to capturing the grand wide vistas we all love, the intimate details in a scene can provide some exciting photographic possibilities.  Streams and waterfalls are perfect subjects for this.

Spruce Flat Falls in the Tremont area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park cascades over many rock outcroppings that cause the water to splash over and flow around the rocks creating a variety of patterns in the water.   I isolated part of Spruce Flat Falls as shown below with a telephoto lens at 130mm showing its “mini” waterfalls within the larger waterfall.  The yellow and orange fall leaves and wet green moss create a nice background for this image.  You can see all of Spruce Flat Falls in my gallery here and blog post here.


Spruce Flat Falls close up – Click image to enlarge

When it comes to photographing steams, sometimes it’s not possible to capture a pleasing image because of distracting branches covering parts of the stream or the trees along the stream may be too dense to allow you to get a good composition.  This is another situation when looking for smaller details can give you the opportunity to go back home with some nice images on your memory card!  Indian Run, not far from my home is an example of this situation.  Along most parts of the stream above Indian Run Falls, the trees are very dense and there are many low hanging branches that obscure the steam making it impossible to get a good photograph of the stream.  In the image below I was able to isolate a small cascade in the steam with just enough sunlight at the right angle to make the water sparkle a little at the top of the cascade.


A small Indian Run cascade – Click image to enlarge


When photographing streams and waterfalls, some exposure compensation is usually necessary to make the water look white.  I typically spot meter the water and add 1 to 1½ stops of exposure to the camera’s meter reading to make sure the water looks white.  If you go with the camera’s meter reading the water will look gray.  It’s also helpful to use a polarizing filter to reduce or eliminate distracting reflections.

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Indian Run Falls

A winter view of Indian Run Falls - Click image to enlarge

Indian Run Falls is nice 10’ to 15’ high waterfall located in Indian Run Falls Park, a Dublin Ohio city park.  Hayden Falls, the subject of a previous post here, is close by.  Early history of the area indicates that the land around the falls was the site of a Wyandotte Indian village on the west side of the gorge in the early 1800’s.  Today, nature trails wind along both sides of the gorge and several observation platforms provide views of the falls.  There is a bridge spanning the gorge that would provide a great view of the falls, but unfortunately it has been closed for a number of years.

None of the observation platforms provide a very good view of the falls so to get the best view, especially if you want to photograph them, it is necessary to climb down into the gorge, and then hike several hundred yards along Indian Run to reach the base of the falls.  It is worth the effort since you will have a view of the falls that not everyone who visits will get.  Walk along the east side of the gorge and you’ll find several places off the nature trail where you can safely climb down into the gorge.  Use extreme caution however, since the sides of the gorge are very steep!!

A close-up of an Indian Run cascade - Click image to enlarge


Photographing the falls is best done during the “magic hour” of the morning or evening when the sun is low in the sky otherwise the mid-day sun will create an extreme contrast range with areas of deep shadow, bright sky and reflections off the water making a good exposure difficult.    Photographing the falls on an overcast or misty day is also a good option.  In addition to the falls, there are many opportunities for photographing various creek scenes along Indian Run.  Above the falls there is a very nice 10 foot high cascade, and several other smaller cascades (one with a bridge overhead), that are especially interesting to photograph.  Making some close-up compositions, focusing on the intimate details of the cascades will create some interesting imagery.  To get the best results, I highly recommend using a tripod and a polarizing filter.  Using a tripod will slow you down and force you to look through your viewfinder and think about your compositions.  It will also allow you to use a slow shutter speed that will give the water tumbling over the rocks a silky flowing look emphasizing the motion of the water.  Using a polarizing filter will help you to reduce or eliminate reflections on the water so you can show detail under the water that would otherwise be hidden by the reflections.  These details will make your images even more striking.  Enjoy photographing Indian Run Falls!

You can see more of my Indian Run Falls images in my gallery here. If you have any questions about this website or my photography, please click here to email me.


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