Crater Lake: When the Water Speaks

When I drive an overpass, I often get out and scout what's under it.  In this case, it is Annie Spring.  Two hours later, it was "in the can". ©Kit Frost

When I drive an overpass, I often get out and scout what’s under it. In this case, it is Annie Spring. Two hours later, it was “in the can”. ©Kit Frost

Art Making in Crater Lake National Park

One of my missions while in residence at Crater Lake is to photograph the Lake while chasing the light.  My accommodations are three miles from the rim of the caldera.  So it’s easy to drive up there every few hours to see the color of the light, reflections and to talk to the park visitors.  I brought my bike for a daily workout and to access the park without the windshield in my way. But the healing process on my new hip is slower than I hoped, so I’ll be gentle.

What are the voices of the flowing water telling me.

What is the silence of the local stream telling me?

Today, as I stepped back away from the Lake, I explored a few of the creeks in the park, I connected with a beautiful stream adjacent to the Goodbye Creek.  After scouting, I plan to photograph at that location in morning or late afternoon light.  I prefer very little light on creek falls, as contrast can be a real challenge. It’s not impossible to photograph, but when faced with bright light of water against the darkness of the stream it helps to use a graduated neutral density filter in the field and underexpose.  Later, using Lightroom, I adjust the dark shadows to reveal their texture and beauty.  In this case, I am exposing for the highlights of the water and “developing” for the shadows.

Annie Spring

Annie Spring leads to one of the biggest creeks in the Park, Annie Creek, flowing along Highway 62 and the entrance to the Park. It’s very seductive to hear the creek and to follow it’s flow along the pullouts on the road.

“Take only photographs, leave only footprints”

Annie Spring is a trailhead leading up to the Pacific Crest Trail. I will hike up to the PCT before I leave.  Cheryl Strayed’s book, and movie “Wild” is about her thru hike of the PCT and I’ve hiked a bit of it in Lassen Volcano National Park and want to add a bit of my own footprints to it.

Stay tuned.

Learn about Waterfalls

Havasu Falls near Supai, Arizona. The water is...

Havasu Falls near Supai, Arizona. The water is blue/green due to high concentrations of dissolved lime picked up as the water runs through the sedimentary rock of Havasu Canyon and the Grand Canyon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

waterfall is a place where water flows over a vertical drop in the course of a stream or river. Waterfalls also occur where meltwater drops over the edge of a tabular iceberg or ice shelf.

Block, Cascade, Cataract, Chute, Fan, Frozen, Horsetail, Plunge, Punchbowl, Segmented, Slide, Tiered, Multi-step. The Types or  categories of waterfalls.  Defined as the most identifiable, obvious or prevalent form a waterfall takes as it descends.

When out making images of waterfalls, my workflow includes spending some time watching the water flow.  In finished prints I like to see the place where the water “lands”.  I feel cut off if the waterfall photo doesn’t show me the landing zone.  It’s often the brightest of the tonalities in the photograph so I pay particular attention to exposing correctly for those highlights.

Speaking of highlights, In many really good examples of waterfall photography, you may notice that the photos are taken in the shade. I avoid distracting “speckled sun”, and rarely photograph waterfalls in full sun, although parts of the falls may be wonderfully exposed with a bit of sunlight.  Here are a few examples.

The lowest part of a multi-tier waterfall as it plunges to the base.

Colorado has many examples of waterfalls. © Kit Frost

A plunge fall shoots through a canyon wall in Colorado. ©Kit Frost

Waterfall in the Rosenlaui ravine (Switzerland...

Waterfall in the Rosenlaui ravine (Switzerland) Français : Une cascade dans le ravin de Rosenlaui, en Suisse. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Angel Falls in Venezuela is the worlds tallest waterfall at 929m (3,212 ft). A Plunge Waterfall

Waterfalls are flowing in Southern Colorado

I enjoyed a day of scouting waterfalls for our upcoming Waterfalls Photography workshops. Some subjects are perfect for digital cameras.  The fact that we have LCD instant review (chimping) lets us explore a variety of shutter speeds and aperture combinations until we’re happy with the photo.  In the past, when making images on film, I’d have to wait until the film was processed to see if I selected the correct exposure.

Suggested workflow for Waterfall Photography:

  1. Hand hold your camera, walk around the subject, compose roughly and test a variety of shutter speeds.  I call this “sketching”.
  2. Once seduced by a final composition, Set up your tripod and review your composition
  3. Use mirror lockup and a cable release to create the sharpest image without any camera shake.
Waterfall in Southern Colorado

A still image of a moment in time. ©Kit Frost