POTD: Triplets

Title and Location

Triplets

Location: Tremont area of the Smoky Mountains
Camera: Phase One P65+, Mamiya 645D, 45mm
Settings: f/16, ISO 50, multiple exposures, 2 shots stitched
When: April 2010

These three boulders reminded me of little boys wrestling.  Actually you wouldn’t call it wrestling but maybe “Whoever ends up on top wins!”.  Early morning sun shining through the background foliage almost looked like autumn.  Maples are colorful any time of the year and this park is full of them and almost every other hardwood.

As a new photographer, I found this image a challenge.  The light coming through the foliage onto the water was difficult to expose without blowing out the whitewater.  I took extra exposures at a faster shutter speed and blended those in where the brightest light was shining.

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POTD: Paradise Falls

Title and Location

Paradise Falls

Location: Silver Falls State Park, Oregon
Camera: Phase One P45, Cambo RS, Schneider 35XL
Settings:f/11, ISO 50, 2 seconds
When: June 2010

Great scenic photography is 90% getting in front of interesting subjects.  (The other 90% is planning, equipment, technique, and tenacity but that’s for another day.)  Sometimes during my travels, I have stumbled into locations or circumstances that were so incredible it simply blew my mind.  Silver Falls State Park in central Oregon is one of those locations.

Imagine having a hole in the ground 175 feet deep with a diameter of a mile or so.  Into that hole in the ground fall a dozen waterfalls from around it’s edges.   Each waterfall has a total different character.  You may recall I mentioned when I was there they had record rainfall and these falls were raging and so beautiful.

There is a 9 mile trail at the bottom of the hole taking you to visit all of these waterfalls.  The trail goes behind the veil of several.  Simply stunning scenery and I understand it is even better in Autumn.  Often referred to as the “Crown Jewel” of the Oregon park system.  Silver Falls is truly a paradise which inspired this photograph of the North Falls.

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POTD: Long Pool Falls

Title and Location

Long Pool Falls

Location: Ozark National Forest, Arkansas
Camera: Phase One P45, Cambo RS, Schneider 35XL
Settings: f/11, ISO 50, 5 seconds
When: May 2009

New photographers often ask how do I know when to shoot a vertical or horizontal composition.  I know I fell into this trap talking to a pro who was conducting a workshop I attended.  In hindsight, the answer is obvious:

“Always shoot a vertical after a horizontal and vice-versa.”

Obvious – right?  It’s surprising how many compositions can easily be captured in both vertical and horizontal orientation.  With an L-bracket and arca swiss style clamp you can switch orientations in a few seconds.

Selling art, I’ve sold many more horizontal images but there are occasions where only a vertical will do.  The best ise of vertical composition is on the cover of a magazine.  A worthy goal for any photographer.

A few days back I wrote about this waterfall with a vertical composition called “Ozark Spring”.

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POTD: Ozark Spring

Title and Location

Ozark Spring

Location: Long Pool Falls, Ozark National Forest
Camera: Phase One P45, Cambo RS, Schneider 35XL
Settings: f/16, 5 sec, ISO 100
When: May 2010

I had been to Long Pool Falls on at least four occasions before “Ozark Spring” was photographed.  It’s watershed is relatively small and it takes a fair amount of rain to get it running well.

It is very typical of waterfalls in the Ozark Mountains near my home.  Most of them only run during wet weather.   When it is wet, the Ozarks are full of literally thousands of waterfalls.  Many just as beautiful as long pool falls.
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POTD: Spring Runoff

Title and Location

Spring Runoff

Location: Columbia River Gorge, Oregon
Camera: Phase One P45, Cambo RS, 72mm
Settings: f/16, 2 sec, ISO 100
When: June 2010

Ponytail Falls is about a mile hike straight up the Columbia River Gorge.  Normally an intimate waterfall, it was now roaring with run-off from the wettest June on record.  (That happens often on my trips!  The most rain in a week, the coldest snap in years, even the worst drought in a century but that’s for another post.)

I ventured behind the fall and composed the waterfall and stream together by stitching two side-by-side exposures into a panoramic.

The Columbia River Gorge is one if those locations we dream about as photographers.  Incredible waterfalls, lush greens and dramatic drop-offs.  One of my favorite hikes is the Eagle Creek trail which is as dramatic as it is beautiful.

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POTD: Smith Creek

Title and Location

Smith Creek

Location: Smith Creek Nature Preserve, Arkansas
Camera: Phase One P45, Cambo RS, Schneider 70L
Settings: f/11, ISO 50, 5 sec
When: May 2010

Smith Creek located just south of Boxley Valley was preserved by The Nature Conservancy to protect critical Indiana bat habitat.  The side-effect was they also gave us one of the most intimately beautiful areas in Arkansas.

On a rainy day in May, you can spend the whole day photographing this small area.  The further upstream you hike the more beautiful it becomes.

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POTD: Autumn Falls

Title and Location

Autumn Falls

Location: Looking Glass Falls, North Carolina
Camera: Mamiya 645D, Phase One P30+, Mamiya 28mm
Date: October 2010

Looking Glass Falls is located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway in the Pisgah National Forest of North Carolina.

When photographing waterfalls I try to include the surrounding topography which I feel gives waterfalls more character.  A static portrait style photograph gets old pretty quick.  After all, it is the surrounding scenery that makes each one so unique.

After working close to the waterfall and not feeling much inspiration we ventured downstream where the water flowing over the rocks drew my attention.

Using the 28mm I was able to exaggerate the foreground rocks which balanced nicely with the waterfall and autumn color.

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