Waterfall weekend

This year we’ve had so much rain that the waterfalls are still flowing mightily.  Strange for this time of year when most streams, rivers and brooks are quite low.  Makes for some fantastic photography though and of course I was out there.

This is Mill Brook.  Yeah, original huh?  There is still a semi-active mill on this waterway, but most of them are gone (there are remnants of one just upstream and across the road from here).  This section is just before an old reservoir where the dam has been breached.  I wished I could have gotten into the water for this, but it was way too deep and fast for that.  So I clung to the bank and did the best I could.

Before the Dam

Farther downstream on Mill brook are the massive and difficult to photograph Garwin Falls.  I’m by no means the first photographer down there and it has been photographed in a more classic way than I have here, but I was interested in trying to interpret the falls differently.  They’re quite wide and actually curve, with tons of trees both upright and blown down by the Halloween Noreaster we got.  Also, the far bank is private property.  I could have trespassed, but I don’t ever want to be ‘that asshole’ if you know what I mean.  This first shot is just before the water plunges down the ledge.  I loved the little bridge I found.  No way in hell was I going to step on it.  Oh to be young again and indestructible.

You first

Just after the first drop, it turns a bit and I stood the tripod on top of a huge boulder and aimed it down.  The curvy log there I thought would make a great leading line and the angle is pretty trippy.  I don’t think I’ve seen the falls shot from here.

Salvador's Angle

A little further down the falls I found a big beech tree that had recently come down.  I carefully walked partway down a big slab of granite and shot from the side.  It’s another strange angle, but I like it.  That bit of direct sunlight in the trees in the back is pretty sweet.  I didn’t have much more time left though since the clouds were burning off and the sun was getting higher.

The Fall

Now let’s leave New Hampshire and go to Massachusetts and Royalston falls; a very accessible and dramatic waterfall.  The river itself winds through dense woods and has carved some very impressive gorges over the thousands of years its been flowing through here.

Tully River

I wished I could have spent some more time exploring and looking for unique compositions, but with the daylight hours being so short this time of year, I went right onto the falls.

Royalston Falls - the big drop

The gorge is amazing and almost as impressive as the water.  I got to thinking about the thousands of years it took to carve the rocks and how the course of the water has changed.  It is as close to eternal as I think it gets; it’s old and doesn’t care about us and what we do.  We might dam it for a while, but when we’re gone it will flow on.  Makes you feel so small and insignificant.  In a good way though; minimalizing my own existence has never frightened me.  What did frighten me a bit was the terrain and how treacherous would have been without a sturdy fence being there.  It did somewhat limit compositional possibilities, but I didn’t mind.  For this shot I put the tripod out beyond the fence though.  It’s about a 50 foot drop down.

The Plunge

After seeing the Royalston Falls I wanted to check out two more, but only had enough light for one.  It’s the massive, astonishing and incredibly difficult to photograph Spirit Falls.  I’m pretty sure this is also on a branch of the Tully river and isn’t far from the Royalston Falls.  It went for hundreds of feet through thick forest and dropped hundreds of feet as well.  The roar was so constant and so loud it was all-enveloping.  I poked around a bit, but I’d need hours and hours to find views and segments for photos.   It went down much further into a very large floodplain that was gorgeous from the couple of vistas on the top of Jacob’s Hill.

Spirit Falls

Well, that’s it for now.  I don’t have much planned in the way of shooting.  Brown stick season is well and truly here and so nothing springs immediately to mind.  Hopefully it won’t last long.

 

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3 responses

  1. Pingback: A morning in Purgatory « Wicked Dark Photography

  2. Pingback: Garwin Falls redux « Wicked Dark Photography

  3. Pat Nelson

    Thanks for the multi-falls tour. I haven’t been to any of these!

    November 25, 2012 at 10:22 am

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