Posts tagged “waterfalls

Black River Scenic Byway

The Upper Peninsula. The U.P. for short. It’s attached to Wisconsin, but it’s part of Michigan. That’s ok. Who could Wisconsans make fun of if not for Yoopers? Lol.

The Black River Scenic Byway starts about 2 hours north of where I live and is an easy drive. Even if you’re coming from further away it’s worth the trip. You can see about 1/2 dozen falls in just a few miles of road and with very little hiking. Be prepared for a lot of stairs though! Boy were my calves sore after all that up and down. It was worth the pain and I only ended up bailing on one set of falls – Rainbow at the end. There’s just no good way to shoot them from the platform. Shame because they are impressive as hell. Maybe there’s a way to get to the other side. I see from the map that there is a road on the other side of the river, but I’m not sure there’s a trail system. I will have to investigate for another trip.

They plunged from sight

Although it was a perfect day for this kind of photography (overcast, bright, not too windy) I had a couple of things go wrong on me. First was my tripod – it has a removable center column which I put back on and realized the gasket on the inside of the tripod that keeps the column tight was incorrectly placed. This made the post itself too loose to be stable and sometimes it would sink a little under the weight of the camera (as little as that is). Ugh. Be sure you check your gear at home and know how it is supposed to operate and how to fix it if it isn’t working right. After I got home I tackled the problem and solved it. It didn’t take long, just needed a bit of concentration on the task.

And of course the height of the railings around viewing platforms was just at the height of the camera on the tripod without the center column. Precisely why I wanted to use the dumb thing to begin with. So I couldn’t use it much on the platforms and ended up hand-holding more than I usually do with this kind of thing. I did manage to use the same railings to brace myself so I had some leeway in exposure settings.

Gorge falls

Another thing against me was the limited view of the falls for many of them on this river. It’s part of the Ottawa National Forest and so has sturdy, wooden viewing areas, walkways and stairs that let you see the falls at least, but make it difficult to be creative with photography. You can basically take one view of each. But hey, at least we get to see them. Without the platforms it would be impossible or just too dangerous because the banks are so steep.

Black River Gorge

Funny though. I think forcing me to handhold a lot of shots made me appreciate the change in how the images came out. Too many times I think we get stuck in photographic ruts. As I mentioned in my previous post about Ripley Creek, the soft, silky water thing can get overplayed. Water presents so many looks and moods that we shouldn’t forget that the camera can capture those just as well. I also love the contrast between the tannic water and the snow.

Potawatomi Falls

In addition to making sure my tripod is in working order, I learned another lesson on this trip. Don’t buy crappy gear. If you need a piece of kit, buy the best you can afford. It’s better than having to buy it twice even if you have to go without while you save up. Also, don’t do what I did and think that your photography isn’t worth the best gear. I don’t mean to say that you should buy whatever you want even if you can’t afford it, but money aside, don’t discount your work so easily. I ran my work down over different items, saying to myself that I wasn’t a professional or making money with my photographs so why did I need something so grand. I ended up having to buy things over again which was more a waste than if I’d just bought the good stuff I longed for to begin with. Plus I’d have had a better time with my photography instead of being frustrated and ruining shots.

This time I’m talking about my neutral density filter. It was too bright to do long exposures without it and unfortunately instead of buying a good set, I bought a variable type. This works by sandwiching two pieces of glass together and rotating them to block the light coming into the camera. Sounds good, but damn it can really screw with the shot as illustrated by these two images –

Example 1

A little twist and look at the corners now.

Example 2

I noticed it in the field and had to settle for shorter shutter speeds than I wanted because of it. After this frustrating experience, I broke down and got myself a good one. You’d think I’d have learned my lesson with the polarizer after finally ditching the cheap one for something better. Both of mine are the same lovely German brand and I wish I’d not wasted money on cheaper ones.

Sandstone Falls

Yes, I did manage to fix the problems in Lightroom, but I’d rather have avoided them altogether. It might be a cliche, but you get what you pay for is true. I should write a post about my mistakes with this and photography. It would be long.

Emotional sabbat

As I mentioned above, I found a bit of freedom by coming off the tripod and playing with compositions and shutter speed. Lucky it was bright enough to handhold a lot of shots without resorting to high ISO settings and I had some fun on the frozen rocks below the falls. Also good that I remembered to bring my boot spikes because without them it would have been too slippery and dangerous to get out into the river where I have the most fun. I just love a raging river, don’t you?

Fleeting recollection

Because I’d driven a longish way to visit this area, I made the most of my time and explored side trails whenever possible. One led me upriver from Sandstone Falls, the only falls I could get to in an intimate way on this trip. I just LOVE exploring rivers. Both on land and in the kayak. The lure of what’s around the next bend is what does it. The changing landscape, the possibility of something new and astonishing. It’s wonderful and boy, did I get an eyeful of that on the Black River. There are lots of stairs here for a reason – the banks are steep. Check this out –

Loud and frenetic

Wow is that ever cool. Look at the log in the lower left – it shows the angle of the bank. Wicked steep. And the trail just here is about a foot wide. I just love nature in all its power and glory. A little further up are some rapids at a sharp bend. Not exactly photogenic on this trip because I couldn’t get down onto some rocks that would make a great vantage point, but that can be for my next trip.

 


Pulpit Falls and the great light race

In the last couple of posts I talked about learning a hard lesson about light. That is not to fight it, but to work with it to make the best of my time and my photographs. Letting go of that perfect image you have in your head is hard. We go out trying to get “the shot” and when we can’t, how do we react? As photographers, we’re always looking for the best light, but sometimes Mother Nature has other plans. It’s always a gamble whether or not the conditions you want will prevail. So what’s a person to do if the light you want turns into the light you don’t? Well, you can pack up and go home. Yeah, that’s an option if you’re a quitter. If you traveled far to get to your location, making the most of your time is probably the best bet. You can put the camera away and just soak up the atmosphere; enjoying the place for itself, not for how you can shoot it. Another choice is to stay and find something interesting to put your camera in front of. Maybe it’s not “the shot”, but who knows what you’ll find. Something that works with the light Mother Nature has decided to give you. That’s usually the one I go for, hoping to find something interesting and worth shooting.

This was what happened to me the other day when the forecast called for chance of rain and overcast skies. I decided to head to Pulpit Falls again and see if I could get to the other side to get a different set of photographs. It’s about 90 minutes for me to drive there, so it was a gamble and as I drove the skies got bluer and brighter by the mile. Cursing, I kept going, finally arriving with some clouds still lurking and some on the horizon, but it was turning into a nice day. Not the greatest conditions for waterfall photography. I decided to try anyway and see if more clouds moved in later like they had the day before. Instead I got this –

Pulpit Falls - nice but where do you look?

Pulpit Falls – nice but where do you look?

Dappled sunlight in the woods is something I really love and try to work with, but damn this is awful. Where the heck to you put your eyes? There’s no flow, no cohesion. Too much contrast. The light is harsh and it’s just a mess. Plus look what a hard time the white balance is having. The water is blue! It wasn’t mouthwash! I’d have to remove it in post if I were going to use this image. Blue water in these kind of shots is a giant pet peeve for me. I hate it.

So I gave that up. I wandered away from the falls to explore the undergrowth and see what small things I could find. Mushrooms were coming up here and there. Violets, starflower and fringed polygala were blooming. I found a huge dead bug. While I was sitting and looking for microscapes, a newt wandered by. S’up? Then I saw some indian cucumber and spent some time shooting them, ending up with this little beauty –

Unbroken Solitude

It took me a while to find the right angle (luckily it was on a little slope and I could get below it) then wait for the breeze to calm. Finally it did. I hadn’t planned on a monochrome conversion when I shot it, but when I got it into Lightroom it was the obvious choice. That image alone would have been worth the trip (even though there’s indian cucumber 10 minutes from my house, oh the irony). Then I noticed a drop of water on my flip-out LCD screen. Then another. And another. I just about snapped my head off looking up.

Clouds!

Good thing I didn’t go far. I practically RAN back to the falls. Having scoped it out before, I set up and damn did I shoot in a hurry. It was mental. The cloud was small. And moving. Crap, crap, crap!!!

Good thing I get a lot of practice doing this. The light lasted about 8 minutes. Seriously.

Pulpit Falls – aaahhh, now that’s better.

The scramble paid off. At least I think it did. It’s the shot I had in my head and for those 8 minutes, I had my chance.

But darn, one you start working some falls, it’s hard to stop. I got the notion that maybe I could make the dappled sunlight work. But how? I moved closer and like the last time I shot these falls, I found some ferns to put in the foreground.

Dramatis Personae

What do you think? Too much? Does it suffer from the same issues as the first shot, the wider one? I don’t think so. I think it works, but I’m biased. I like the way the light picks out the texture in the walls. My eyes don’t seem to ping all over the shot like they do in the other one. My eyes move through the photo slowly and while there is a lot of tonal range in the blacks and whites, it doesn’t jar my sensibilities. Again, I might be biased, but at least the water isn’t blue.

Oh and before I go further, here’s a fun story about the falls and my trips to photograph them. Jeff Newcomer is a fellow NH-based nature photographer. I follow his blog and his flickr feed and we’ve traded some comments back and forth over the years. One of his posts inspired me to try to find these falls in the first place. Between his goof the first time around, some additional search information, Google maps and just plain luck, I found it last year. I got a gorgeous shot of the water upstream, but didn’t have a really great shot of the falls as a whole. So I went back a few weeks ago.

As I got down to the brook I noticed a person off to my left with a big tripod and a dog. Not such an unusual thing. I’ve run into other photographers in the woods before. Strange to find one here, though, at such an obscure location. No worries. I head over the the top of the falls to scope out the situation. A minute later and there’s a snuffling at my feet. The dog. I don’t mind dogs and she was very well-behaved. Oh and here comes the photographer. We start talking and lo and behold it’s Jeff Newcomer. He’s equally astonished that he met me as well since he used my last Pulpit Falls blog post to orient himself to find it. What a riot!

I  never did shoot the falls that day, but explored upstream a bit with Jeff and Nellie. From atop a big granite ledge I spied even more falls, but we couldn’t get to them. We even drove around looking for another road in since we could see the makings of a campfire and a bridge across the stream further up. Maddening! But it will make for a future adventure for us to do together. Some day when it’s really good and overcast and Mother Nature doesn’t line up one thing only to go ‘surprise!’ and give us sun instead.

Cool story though huh? What were the odds? Oh and if you want to see yours truly, check out Jeff’s post. And this one where we headed to the Fox State Forest, one of my favorite places.

So back to the falls. I got closer still, looking to isolate that first drop. Again, I hadn’t planned on converting to black and white, but when I started processing, it seemed the right choice.

Hand of Time

The dappled sunlight isn’t as obvious with this one, but it’s there and I think it heightens the drama of the shot. Also, a wide tonal range is really critical in black and white. You have to have black and white, not just gray. Would it have worked on an overcast day? Sure, but this has more punch I think. Am I suffering from wishful thinking? I hope not.

I salvaged what I feared might be a wasted trip. By being flexible and open-minded, I made the most of my time and when the right light came along for a few minutes, I was able to take advantage of it. Too many times I’ve been disappointed and frustrated with what I can’t control during a shoot. The light. Sure, I can choose days and times of day when it’s likely to be perfect, but if it’s not, I like to think I have the artistic resilience to make the most of what I have to work with. To see beyond the image in my head to the image in front of me. For me it’s a skill hard won through tough lessons and ruined photos (not to mention vacations!).

So what are your heartbreaking light disasters? Did you pick up and go home, or did you persevere and make something great anyway?

 


Pulpit Falls (finally!)

A while back, I can’t say exactly when, I read about Pulpit Falls in Winchester NH. Being a lover of waterfalls I thought it would be cool to add them to my growing portfolio of images. Problem was that not many people had ever seen them or knew where they were. A few pictures came up on Google, but not that many. One that was at first incorrectly labeled as Pulpit, came up also, with an explanation from the photographer that he’d hiked either the wrong way on the right brook, or hiked along the wrong brook. Those cascades are nice though and it wasn’t a bust. I wanted to see if I could find the right ones though and with a bit of research I found a bunch of information to support a hypothetical location. Given where the brook runs and the proximity of power lines, I couldn’t get too lost even if there was no trail, which was true and not true. The trail part, not the lost part.

Anyway, so I picked a day where the chance of rain was 30% and headed out. I find the pullout spot on the side of the road and switch from driving shoes to hiking boots. While getting my camera pack out of the back of the car, another car pulls up behind me. A small family gets out. Really? Of all days? The one time I come here hoping to find a semi-lost waterfall I have to have an audience? With a kid? OMG. Laughing, I set out on the trail which might or might not lead me to Pulpit Falls.

I decided to leave the trail at the first water crossing I encountered. Partially to get away from the people and partially to look for brook/forest landscapes. Those are the best. Soon I reached the powerlines. Usually powerline clear-cuts are full of blueberry bushes, but these are full of mountain laurel. And poison ivy. I had to pick my way through to the brook again, which went down into a steepish gully that I had to go around. When I got to it again, I saw that another brook joined it. Given the GPS coordinates and the map in my head, I knew I should follow the new brook upstream. With a bit of ledge scrambling, I came to this lovely spot –

Undiscovered greatness

Promising huh? I was psyched. To get this shot I put the camera on a downed tree, as far over as I could and still reach it to compose and find my focus points. And people think I’m weird to demand a flip and swivel LCD on the back. LOL.

Onward and upstream I bushwacked. Mostly it was easy. Then the land on either side of the water’s edge started to rise dramatically. Another New England gorge was ahead. I could either walk in the water or scramble. I scrambled. And surprised myself at how I judged (correctly the first time – miracle!) the best way to get into the gorge itself. First up, along some ledge, then down, clinging to some saplings for support along the way. Then under some downed trees, a couple of times taking off my backpack and pushing it under ahead of me so it wouldn’t get snagged. All the while the sound of the water getting louder and louder until eventually I had to turn off my iPod (listening to audio books is something I do all the time and I was re-listening to The Count of Monte Cristo for this trip…maybe I should start including my listening material in my blog posts. Could be fun. Anyway…). When I came out from under my final log, I was presented with this –

Pulpit Falls

Woah!

Some waterfall guide sources said it was a seasonal fall and not too impressive, but I was impressed. It doesn’t show here because it was really messy with deadfall, but the gorge is very wide and deep. Probably 3-4 stories from the bottom of the streambed to the top and almost straight up. Not quite and there are plenty of trees and bushes growing everywhere they could find purchase. I put the camera is where the gorge narrows considerably and there’s a handy boulder. Too bad there’s a newly fallen hemlock right next to it or there could have been more dramatic views. The tree is blocking them now. Maybe if I’d gone in last year I could have gotten those images. Self recriminations didn’t last long though. I was too excited to explore a new place.

The condition of the moss and the presence of beer cans told me I wasn’t the first to be here, but I knew it wasn’t a popular spot either and I hoped the family wouldn’t appear at the top of the falls to ruin my shots. Under and over another couple of dead trees and I got myself about 1/2 way up the cascade onto a wedge of granite –

Geologic geometry

The roar was intense as was the breeze coming off the force of the water. And I stayed blessedly alone. Well except for a green frog which I nearly squished. I think this is the strongest image of the falls, but I also like this one with the ferns waving in the water-powered breeze –

Happy Little Ferns (thanks to Bob Ross)

After marveling and trying a bunch more shots that didn’t really work, I headed up higher and got right up on the edge of the rock for this one. I love the layered slabs of granite and the curved shape the water made –

Structural Fluidics

I wished I could have gotten out further but levitation isn’t one of my skills so I had to be content with this. All the while I shot and marveled, little birds flew into the bowl of the falls and took sips on the wing. It was very peaceful despite the roar of the water. With the ground now reasonably level, I headed upstream a bit. I wished I could go further, but I had a date with another elusive waterfall and if I wanted to get both in before the rain, I had to move. I plan to go back though. It’s a beautiful brook and one worth more exploration, that’s for sure.

Burnished


Test of a teaser

Yesterday, I went to find an elusive waterfall. I’d heard of it somehow over the last couple years and found a few old photographs on the web (none newer than the 1990s), but it seemed not too many people either heard of it or much less had seen it. Armed with purported GPS coordinates and sort of reasonable directions, I set out. Here’s part of what I saw –

http://www.flickr.com/photos/thewiresmith/9068882157/

Sorry you have to go to flickr to see it. I can’t embed any video here without handing over money. So silly. Might be time to look for an alternative blog host if I decide to do more video. We’ll see.

Anyway, I’m putting together a post about the falls and that will have the usual photos. Having video in the camera is so new that I often forget about it. Doh!

 

 


Garwin Falls redux

When some local photographers wanted to get together for a meetup at Garwin Falls, I was all over it. Garwin is one of my favorite spots and I’d never met any of the folks who were going. An old friend and new friends; how could I say no? The organizer had scouted the falls a day or two beforehand and warned us the flow was wicked low, but still had potential. After a little while there, I totally agreed. While not as dramatic as when the falls are in full roar, the limited flow let me and the others get to spots normally unreachable due to the torrents of water. Like this big section of ledge where I could look down at the lowest part of the cascade. It’s kind of a strange perspective, but I like it.

Waterwitch

Basically from the same position, I was directly in front of the middle section of the falls. It’s a little messy, but I’ve never seen it like this before so I think it works from a documentary angle. Weird perspective was the trend of the day.

Balance of Power

But maybe the grandest image of all was one I shot from a tiny outcrop of roots and rock just at the base of the falls. Normally the water runs over this little spit of land and you can’t get to it. It’s also one of those places where you leave your tripod on the bank, lower yourself down to the little spit, then reach back for the tripod. Not that there’s room for it and you, so most of it goes in the water. Worth it though. Who doesn’t like the sound of low flow?

I fell into a dream

The sun was just reaching into the upper section of the image, but when I saw that whirlpool from above, I knew I’d have to get down there before the sun did.

Farther up the stream, above the nearly empty reservoir, there are a series of cascades that are so photogenic that I have to shoot them every time I’m there. This time though, the low flow helped me out again by getting me into a position that was impossible before. I straddled the tripod across the water onto rocks normally inundated with water for this one and it really works.

From the Water to the World

Even though I wish I’d had the presence of mind to hit another section of the falls, a good time was had by all and I’m happy with the images I got. And it’s not like the falls are going anywhere.


Crossing the Streams

No matter what Egon says, I crossed. Cold Brook was running very low. I’ve posted about Senter Falls since I’ve shot there a few times – here and here and here and here. Boy, I guess I go there a lot, huh? They’re always beautiful even when the water is minimal which it was the other day and I took advantage of it by going to the other side of the brook. There is no trail and no bridge so you either have to get wet or wait until it’s drier. I’m definitely going back when the water is really roaring. It’s amazing from that side. The ledges afford completely different views that are obstructed or impossible from the normal side.

Here’s a shot of the middle section of falls where the gorge narrows. I can just imagine the roar come spring.

New World Rising

I walked all the way up to the main falls, which were unimpressive, but got some excellent views down into the gorge itself. Because the water was so low, it was constrained in a narrow slot that it normally overflows. Tripod contortions should be an Olympic event. I could compete, man, seriously.

Livin’ Thing

Strange Magic

Despite the slipperiness of wet leaves on wet stone, I did some scrambling to position the tripod for more detail shots. The light was pretty perfect for this kind of thing and it didn’t rain. I love the sense of upheaval in this next shot. I can imagine the earth folding upon itself.

Waterfall

I’ve gotten out onto the same boulder to shoot these middle falls before, but this time all the birch and beech leaves in the water was like bam! psychedelic mayhem!

Dreaming of 4000

It took several tries and numerous tripod positions for me to find this composition, but wow…what a show.


Step into the past

A couple of years ago, when I first saw photos of Royalston Falls in Royalston, MA, I knew I had to go see them for myself. For the longest time I thought they were on the Tully river, but it turns out that the watercourse is actually Falls Brook. Original, huh? Hey, I didn’t name it. If I did it would probably be something like Amazing Time-traveling Waterway of Antiquity. Catchy, huh? I think I’ve posted shots of the falls before, but what the heck, they’re gorgeous so why not show them again?

Fall Royalston Falls

A sign says that the drop is fifty feet. It goes straight down into a round gorge. Looking at it, you can imagine the other courses the water took to carve the whole thing. It literally inspires awe. You can’t help but go silent when you first see it. Even though the falls is the star of the show, the supporting cast is exciting, too. That would be Falls Brook itself. Well, maybe not exactly, but the way the water has shaped the rock it flows through is wondrous. It’s almost like you’ve gone to Middle Earth or something. Intriguing shapes and surprising formations are literally around every bend.

Immemorial

Primeval isn’t it? You can’t tell by looking at that one, but right there at the end of the shot…that big rock formation is actually an arch. An arch!! Over a brook in New Hampshire. Well, it might still be Massachusetts, the border is right around here. Just look. It’s fantastic. You should have heard me laughing the whole time I shot. I couldn’t help it. Joy just bubbles up in this place and it needs a place to go.

The Arch over Falls Brook – an arch!!!

Isn’t that the coolest thing? I’ve walked a lot of brooks around here, but never saw one of these before. Other than getting into that pool (who knows how deep it really is), I couldn’t find a better way to shoot it, unfortunately. The water doesn’t flow under it strongly anymore, it’s carved a new route just on the other side of the rock. Now it just pools there, making a nice hangout for frogs, one of which was a few feet from me while I shot. Green frogs are so friendly.

The rock formations are incredible and the contortions the water goes through to flow are challenging to photograph. To the eye, many of them are imposing and mysterious, but they don’t necessarily translate to 2D. Some did though. Not only did I have to get the tripod into the water (and my feet), but I also had to move a really big branch out of this shot. Any bigger and I doubt I could have done it, but I did and it really helped focus the composition.

Beyond Reckoning

The whole place is tough to photograph, but absolutely engrossing to be in. Thinking about the thousands of years it took for the water to carve the gorges is pretty humbling. Geologic time just laughs at us biologicals. I did a lot of rock scrambling and wish I could have reached this one gargantuan boulder with a fantastic view of another amphitheater of rock. The falls are gone now, but you can imagine what they were like. Earthquakes even more powerful than the one the other day must have really changed things up over the millennia. I climbed on the other side of it on top of an outcrop like the ones below and just sat and listened to the water and thought about how ancient this waterway is. One of these days, when the light is more cooperative, I’ll have to find a way to shoot it. It’s pretty jaw-dropping.

Cliff Walk over Falls Brook

It goes on and on like that. I only hiked a couple hours down there, but I think I’ll go back in winter. Maybe after the first snow if it’s just a light one.

Anyway, when I was done there, I decided to check out another set of falls which are truly gorgeous (and with bonus stone arch bridge), but like the Royalston Falls, they are barricaded and compositional choices are quite limited. I did a little exploring on the other side though and there’s good reason for the barricades and the re-routed trail. The gorge face is crumbling and collapsing. Even where it’s stable, its wicked steep. Impressive though.

Doane’s Falls

Not the most autumnal images ever, but the magic of Falls Brook more than makes up for it.


A morning in Purgatory

There’s a little spot of geography about 40 minutes west of my house that has created a whole bunch of waterfalls.  If you’ve been following the blog, you’ve seen them – Tucker Falls, Lower Purgatory Falls, Senter Falls and Garwin Falls most recently.  I think I’ve said that Purgatory brook has three sets of falls – upper, middle and lower and that lower was the most accessible and the most popular with photographers, as is Tucker.  I think I’ve also said I hadn’t shot the upper falls all that well.  Luckily they’re not going anywhere and with the tons of rain and recent snowmelt we’ve had, they’re running full and fast right now.  I think I can safely cross this one off my list –

If you’re looking for some info on how these images were created or how to create similar silky-water images, check out my coaching post here – Smoke on the Water.


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.