Waterfalls

neuroanatomist

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Thread for shots of waterfalls, please post yours!

I was at a scientific conference in Whistler, BC, Canada at the beginning of March, and took the opportunity to visit several waterfalls in the area, which were mostly frozen. It was a great opportunity to test out my newly-purchased EOS R and 24-105mm f/4L IS, which was the only camera/lens I brought on the trip. IMO, a 6-stop ND is ideal for waterfalls, but unfortunately I have only 3- and 10-stop NDs in 77mm (an oversight which I'll remedy at some point), so I sometimes had to bump up the ISO with the 10-stop to keep exposures in a reasonable range (<10 s).

I also came to appreciate the utility of the articulating screen. For my usual subjects (birds, architecture) it doesn't offer much benefit, but I did come across a specific use case where it was essential. All of the waterfalls I visited required snowshoes to reach, and although some had either viewing platforms or packed ice, at a couple of them I was standing on over 2 meters of powder. The best IS system won't allow exposures with a 10-stop ND, which means a tripod is necessary and a tripod requires a stable, firm surface...and deep powdery snow is neither. My improvised solution was to set the tripod up on my snowshoes (with me in them), but there was no way to get the camera to eye level or for me to contort down look through a VF or see a fixed rear LCD. The tilty-flippy was the only way to compose the shots.

The most scenic waterfall was Rainbow Falls, a 2km hike with about 100 m of elevation gain. I was able to go right up to the pool at the base of the falls, sometimes I was standing on ice over part of the pool (thankfully, thick ice).

(Seems I can't link an image to an external URL, so click the image titles for larger views.)

"Rainbow Falls"

EOS R, RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM @ 29mm, 4 s, f/9, ISO 640, 10-stop ND filter

"Rainbow Falls Closeup"

EOS R, RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM @ 105mm, 4 s, f/6.3, ISO 640, 10-stop ND filter
 

neuroanatomist

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Nairn Falls is a short drive north of Whistler, followed by a hike of a couple of kilometers along and above the Green River. There are two observation platforms, one each for the upper (pictured below) and lower segments of the falls. The views from the platforms are not great, but a memorial plaque on the barrier fence effectively discouraged the desire to get closer for a better view. Near the falls was an interesting ice-covered rock wall. On the way back, there was a trail cut down to the Green River near some rapids, and I was able to walk out on the snow covering the ice pack on the edge of (and perhaps extending over) the river.

"Nairn Falls"

EOS R, RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM @ 105mm, 4 s, f/10, ISO 100, 10-stop ND filter

"Ice Wall at Nairn Falls"

EOS R, RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM @ 58mm, 1/320 s, f/4.5, ISO 100

"Green River below Nairn Falls"

EOS R, RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM @ 50mm, 1 s, f/14, ISO 100, 3-stop ND filter + CPL
 

neuroanatomist

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The other two falls I visited were somewhat less impressive, in one case because the viewing platforms were at a suboptimal angle and there was no safe way to the base of the falls, the other because it wasn't feasible to get any closer than I was...or more accurately, I could have gotten closer...but the return up a very steep incline covered in deep powder would have made getting closer a one-way trip.

"Brandywine Falls"

EOS R, RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM @ 58mm, 5 s, f/8, ISO 800, 10-stop ND filter

"Alexander Falls"

EOS R, RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM @ 70mm, 1 s, f/5.6, ISO 100, 3-stop ND filter

Thanks for looking!
 

Del Paso

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Aug 9, 2018
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The other two falls I visited were somewhat less impressive, in one case because the viewing platforms were at a suboptimal angle and there was no safe way to the base of the falls, the other because it wasn't feasible to get any closer than I was...or more accurately, I could have gotten closer...but the return up a very steep incline covered in deep powder would have made getting closer a one-way trip.

"Brandywine Falls"

EOS R, RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM @ 58mm, 5 s, f/8, ISO 800, 10-stop ND filter

"Alexander Falls"

EOS R, RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM @ 70mm, 1 s, f/5.6, ISO 100, 3-stop ND filter

Thanks for looking!
Thanks for shooting!
 

Valvebounce

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Hi Neuro.
Thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures and for great detailed descriptions, a nice sprinkling of humour too!
The shots look very natural colour, have you done a lot in post to remove colour casts or are your filters very neutral, lacking a colour cast? What brand do you use?

Cheers, Graham.
 

neuroanatomist

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Thanks, everyone!

The shots look very natural colour, have you done a lot in post to remove colour casts or are your filters very neutral, lacking a colour cast? What brand do you use?
Almost nothing in post, all except the Brandwine Falls image were left at the as-shot WB, and for that one the adjustment was only minor (added about 500K). It's interesting, because I have all B+W filters, and while the 3-stop ND and the Käsemann CPL are neutral, the B+W 10-stop ND has a noticeable warm cast to it.
 

StoicalEtcher

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I'll join in. Not frozen waterfalls as per Neuro's shots, but since the topic didn't specify that, here are three waterfalls from the UK.

The first two are from God's own county (or Yorkshire for the uninitiated) and the third from Cornwall.

183767

Scalber Force


183768

West Burton Falls

183769

St Nectan's Kieve

Look forward to more 'falls being posted here.

Stoical
 
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Valvebounce

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Hi Neuro.
Thanks for the info, so B&W NDs look like a good choice. I suppose a cast doesn’t matter too much if it gives pleasing results. I went relatively cheap, (Cokin) to find out if long exposures were my thing and they have quite a horrid colour cast, I do like long exposures but rarely do them ?

Cheers, Graham.

Thanks, everyone!


Almost nothing in post, all except the Brandwine Falls image were left at the as-shot WB, and for that one the adjustment was only minor (added about 500K). It's interesting, because I have all B+W filters, and while the 3-stop ND and the Käsemann CPL are neutral, the B+W 10-stop ND has a noticeable warm cast to it.
 

neuroanatomist

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Jul 21, 2010
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Hi Neuro.
Thanks for the info, so B&W NDs look like a good choice. I suppose a cast doesn’t matter too much if it gives pleasing results. I went relatively cheap, (Cokin) to find out if long exposures were my thing and they have quite a horrid colour cast, I do like long exposures but rarely do them ?
Here are shots with a 10-stop ND (left) and with a 3-stop ND (right) - both are B+W MRC filters. EXIFs were 5 s, f/8, ISO 800 vs. 1 s, f/14, ISO 100.
183774
 
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Valvebounce

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Hi Neuro.
Thank you so much for the side by side comparison, I actually prefer the warmed up version from the 10 stop, the 3 stop shot looks too blue and cold though I don’t doubt that it is how it looked with all that ice!

Cheers, Graham.
 

AaronT

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Jan 5, 2013
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The other two falls I visited were somewhat less impressive, in one case because the viewing platforms were at a suboptimal angle and there was no safe way to the base of the falls, the other because it wasn't feasible to get any closer than I was...or more accurately, I could have gotten closer...but the return up a very steep incline covered in deep powder would have made getting closer a one-way trip.

"Brandywine Falls"

EOS R, RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM @ 58mm, 5 s, f/8, ISO 800, 10-stop ND filter

"Alexander Falls"

EOS R, RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM @ 70mm, 1 s, f/5.6, ISO 100, 3-stop ND filter

Thanks for looking!
Great shots Neuro!! I know somewhat the effort involved in trekking through snow and ice. I used to use a heavy duty pair of winterized rubber boots with snowmobile spikes (studs) screwed into the bottom to grip on ice when I shot some falls in the past. It's not easy.
 

AaronT

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Jan 5, 2013
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Neuro's post made me go back to a self-portrait I made in January, 2008 while doing some winter photos of falls. My rubber boots with snowmobile studs in them served me well. First is Keefer Falls and the second is Walter's Falls, both in Ontario. Gotta learn to smile for the camera though, even if it's sitting on a tripod. ;)

184802


184803


184804
 
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