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Tag Archives: Waterfall
It’s hard to believe that it will have been 6 years this coming May since I visited Yosemite National Park. I enjoy going back through my older photos, especially my images of Yosemite so I think that makes it seem like it wasn’t that long ago. I find that looking at my older photos is a great learning experience since I take the time to look at my composition along with the exposure metadata and usually realize that I probably could have composed a better shot. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, especially with all the metadata that’s saved with our digital photos that can be viewed and analyzed. I know I’ve become a better photographer because of it.
All these images are taken from Glacier Point. As you can probably tell from the harsh look of the images, it was mid-day and photographically speaking not the best time of day for photography, but that’s when I was there and I knew I wouldn’t have a chance to go back so I was shooting anyway. From Glacier Point you can look down into Yosemite Valley, see Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls, Vernal and Nevada Falls and of course the great granite massif Half Dome. The first image is a view up Tenaya Canyon with Half Dome on the right, and the Royal Arches and North Dome on the left. The black and white conversion was done in Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro 2 from the original raw file with Lightroom adjustments. The second images is a nice view of Vernal and Nevada Falls. Climbing the Mist Trail up to the top of Vernal Falls, I didn’t realize that it and Nevada Falls were fed by the same water source.
Yosemite National Park is a very special place. If you get the chance to go there, don’t give it a second thought, go and you’ll be glad you did. I can’t wait to go back for a longer time and more serious photography!
To see more of my photography of Yosemite National Park, please visit my gallery here. If you have any questions about this website or my photography, I’d love to hear from you. Please click here to email me.
Upper Falls at the east end of Old Man’s Cave Gorge is a beautiful sight in the winter with snow covering the ground, but it’s a hard subject to photograph because the area around the base of the falls is very plain and doesn’t have any rocks or other objects to add interest to the scene. Despite temperatures close to zero degrees on a recent visit there, I took the time to look for a more interesting view, and found this composition right at the bottom of the stairs that lead down into the gorge. I’ve walked past this spot many times and never thought to photograph this view. Framing the falls with the footbridge at the top, and a nice view under the footbridge of Upper Falls Cascade, some icicles at the upper right, and the snow covered tree roots at the bottom creates a much more interesting image of Upper Falls.
The Upper Falls Cascades, shown below is just above Upper Falls where Old Man’s Creek begins its run through Old Man’s Cave Gorge. Over thousands of years, Old Man’s Creek has carved many unique features such as The Devil’s Bathtub out of the gorge’s Blackhand Sandstone. This image was captured about an hour and a half after sunrise, and as you can see the warm orange glow of the rising sun is reflecting off the water flowing over the cascades.
To see more of my photography of Old Man’s Cave Gorge and Hocking Hills State Park, please see my gallery here. If you have any questions about this website or my photography, I’d love to hear from you. Please click here to email me.
As I’m sure you are aware, Yosemite National Park has been in the news quite a bit in recent weeks because of the massive “Rim Fire” that as of September 26, 2013 has burned 257,134 acres or 402 square miles in and around the park. Currently the fire is 84% contained, and fire crews are continuing to extinguish hot spots near containment lines. Firefighters continue to monitor the slow spread of the fire in the Yosemite and Emigrant Wilderness areas between Cherry Lake and Hetchy Reservoir according to the latest fire update. Fortunately, the fire did not enter Yosemite Valley.
Given all the recent attention on Yosemite because of the fire, it prompted me to look at my images from the park. Yosemite is a stunningly beautiful place and although it has been almost 5 1/2 years since I was there, it seems like it was only yesterday. The image above is of Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls photographed through tall lodge pole pines during my first few hours in the park, truly a stunning view. Taken together Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls is the highest waterfall in North America, and 6th highest in the world.
The image below is a black and white image of Tenaya Canyon, viewed from Glacier Point on a completely cloudless day. At the right is the iconic granite massif Half Dome. In the center is Mount Watkins, and just below it at the mouth of the canyon is Mirror Lake. On the left are the Royal Arches with North Dome above them and beyond is Mount Hoffman covered with snow.
Although I have many places on my list to photograph, I wouldn’t have to think twice about going back to Yosemite. To see more of my photography of Yosemite National Park, please visit my gallery here.
If you have any questions about this website or my photography, I’d love to hear from you. Please click here to email me.
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.
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.
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.
If you have any questions about my website or my photography I’d love to hear from you, please click here to email me.
The amount of water flowing over the Hayden Falls varies greatly throughout the year, it can be a roaring torrent in the spring or after a hard rain, completely dried up in midsummer, or almost frozen solid in the winter as you see it in the image above. I live within walking distance of the falls and got there shortly after a new snowfall to capture this scene before the footprints of other visitors ruined the snow on the rocks and surrounding area. It was late in the day and the starkness of the scene lent itself to a nice conversion to black and white. Note the partial reflection of the upper part of the waterfall in the still water in the middle of the frame. Capture information for this image is; Canon EOS 5D Mk III, manual exposure mode, spot metering, 2.5 seconds at f/22, ISO 100, 24mm focal length, polarizing filter.
With the icicles and flowing water there are many compositions possible everywhere you look. Below is a close up view of layers of ice along the edge of Hayden Run flowing out from the waterfall on its way to the Scioto River.
Hayden Falls is a beautiful waterfall tucked away in a scenic gorge and well worth a visit if you’re in the area. The falls are very popular so you will likely find other people there when you arrive.
Hayden Falls is in Hayden Falls Park, part of Griggs Reservoir Nature Preserve and located at 4335 Hayden Run Rd., Dublin, OH. 43017 close to the intersection of Hayden Run Rd., and Frantz Rd. GPS coordinates are N 40°4’1″, W 83°6’38”. The falls are very accessible via a wide stairway from the parking lot to the bottom of the gorge that connects to an elevated boardwalk going out to the base of the falls. More information can be found here.
Spruce Flat Falls is a beautiful waterfall tucked away in the quiet Tremont area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Although it’s certainly not an unknown waterfall, Spruce Flat Falls is not one of the most popular waterfalls in the park. Getting to the falls requires about a 2 mile hike that is moderately strenuous at the beginning since the trail is uphill for the first ¼ mile. Then the trail is fairly level for the rest of the way going slightly downhill as you get close to the falls. My first hike to the falls was in late July 2011 on a day with high humidity and temperatures in the mid-90’s…the pool at the base of the falls felt really refreshing that day!
As you can see from my images, autumn is a beautiful time to visit Spruce Flat Falls, and in my opinion it’s the best time to photograph them. Many different compositions are possible, so be sure to move around to find the best ones. The image above is a side view, and below is a low angle shot a little downstream. Don’t forget a close up shot isolating just part of the falls. For some of the best compositions you may have to stand in the water so use caution if you get in the water!
About 100 yards west of the “Townsend Y” you’ll see a sign for the Smoky Mountain Institute. Turn left at the sign and after 2 miles, you’ll come to a left turn that will take you to the Institute. It’s well marked so you can’t miss it. Go to the visitor’s center and get a map to guide you to Spruce Flat Falls.
You can see more of my photography of Great Smoky Mountains National Park in my Great Smoky Mountains National Park gallery here.
If you have any questions about this website or my photography, I’d love to hear from you. Please click here to email me.
Located in Hocking Hills State Park in southeastern Ohio, Cedar Falls is one of my favorite waterfalls in the park. Since the park is only an hour and a half drive from home and a great place for photography, I tend to visit often. If you park at Old Man’s Cave gorge, you can hike through the half mile long gorge, which itself features 3 waterfalls (Upper, Middle and Lower Falls), and then hike about 2 miles from the lower end of the gorge to Cedar Falls. Old Man’s Cave gorge is a beautiful place so take your time as you hike. In addition to Upper, Middle and Lower falls there are several cascades and many other photographic “opportunities.” In winter, the gorge is a fantasy land of icicles and frozen waterfalls.
Just past Lower Falls at the lower end of the gorge, follow the well-marked trail along Old Man’s Creek for about a mile and Old Man’s Creek will merge with Queer Creek. At this point, the trail makes an abrupt turn to the east and enters a new valley laden with Hemlock trees bounded by steep rock walls with many grottos and waterfalls. See my previous post titled “A Hidden Gem” here to see one of those waterfalls. This area is a spectacularly beautiful place and well worth the time and effort to see and photograph it.
Cedar Falls itself is the greatest waterfall in the park in terms of volume. The falls were misnamed by the early settlers who mistook the Hemlock trees that surround the falls for Cedars.
Located in the Hocking Hills region of southeastern Ohio, the Rockbridge State Nature Preserve is home to Ohio’s longest natural bridge, and of the 12 known natural arches in Ohio Rockbridge is the only one with a town named after it! The natural arch or bridge is 95 feet long, 3 feet thick, varies from 7 to 26 feet in width and arches 40 feet above the plunge pool of the waterfall behind it.
The bridge originated as a typical Hocking Hills alcove carved into the soft middle layer of Black Hand sandstone at the head of a short box canyon cut by a small tributary of the Hocking River. Wind, rain and percolating groundwater worked together for thousands of years, carving a deep cave-like recess in soft Black Hand sandstone. Gradually erosional forces worked along a natural joint plane some distance behind the brink of the cliff, and over the centuries this ongoing process widened the crevice. Today all that remains of the overhanging ledge is the narrow rock arch.
From the Nature Preserve’s parking lot it’s approximately a 1 mile hike to the Rockbridge natural arch. The trail is fairly flat at first and then goes up hill once you enter the woods. Photographically, the best time to visit is early morning or evening when the sun is lower in the sky. Since you’ll want to photograph the arch from below, the sky will be too bright during the mid-day hours and it will be almost impossible to get a good overall exposure. To capture the full length of the arch, a wide angle lens with a focal length in the range of 15 to 25mm is needed. Move around underneath the arch as many good compositions are possible from either side of the ravine. I would also recommend visiting in the spring when you’ll likely have a waterfall to include in your composition.
More information about the Rockbridge State Nature Preserve can be found at:
Ohio Department of Natural Resources – Rockbridge State Nature Preserve
Hocking Hills State Park – Rockbridge State Nature Preserve Trail Map
If you have any questions about this website or my photography, please click here to email me.
Located between Akron and Cleveland in northeast Ohio, Cuyahoga Valley National Park is Ohio’s only National Park. The park covers 33,000 acres, has 186 miles of trails, and is the third-smallest park in the National Park System yet ranks as one of the ten-most-visited National Parks. Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s namesake river flows north and south. The Cuyahoga River begins its 100 mile journey in Geauga County, flows south to Cuyahoga Falls where it turns sharply north and flows through the park. American Indians referred to the U-shaped river as Cuyahoga or “crooked river.”
The history that influenced this area of Ohio goes back several hundred years with the opening of the Ohio and Erie Canal in 1827. The canal took two years to build and was dug by hand between Cleveland and Akron. A parallel towpath for mules that pulled boats loaded with freight and a system of forty-four locks was also built. By the early 1900’s the railroad brought about the demise of the canal, and by the 1920’s roads were built through the Cuyahoga Valley. Today, restored sections of the canal alongside a restored towpath follow the route of the Cuyahoga River.
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!!
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!