Waterfalls at Mid-Day?

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Ideal Waterfall Light.

If you’d ask me to describe my ideal weather and lighting conditions for photographing waterfalls I would tell you that I hope for an overcast day and with any luck a slight drizzle. I would also tell you that it is definitely not during the middle of the day under harsh sunlight.

If I can’t have the even light of an overcast day, or at the very least the waterfall is in full shade, I wouldn’t even try to photograph flowing water.

And yet I was working under the harsh light of the mid-day sun when I made the above photograph of Jackson Falls in Jackson, NH.

Even Is Even.

Last weekend I was out with a workshop client and during a break we stopped to check out this beautiful road side waterfall. I was certainly not thinking it was going to be at all photographable since it was 2 in the afternoon. As we admired the flow I started to notice something about the light. It occurred to me that the waterfall was indeed illuminated by even light. It wasn’t the beautifully soft light of an overcast day, but it was even light nonetheless. So to satisfy my own curiosity I set up my Fujifilm X-T2 with XF16mm f/1.4 lens. Knowing I was going to need help getting a long enough exposure time to blur the water I attached my Formatt-Hitech Firecrest filter holder to the lens and inserted a 10-stop neutral density filter. As I was setting up my composition I set the aperture to f/16 and the ISO to 200. Much to my surprise with the 10-stop ND filter I found I was indeed able to get a long enough exposure, to the tune of 26 second! After I took my first shot I knew I was on to something.

Lesson learned.

I’d still prefer to photograph waterfalls when its overcast and rainy out, but at least now I don’t automatically put the camera away when it’s not.

 

Falling Water In Pinkham Notch.

 

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This past weekend I explored Thompson Falls for the first time. Had I known how beautiful this waterfall is I would have made a point of photographing here sooner. Located a short hike from the parking lot at the Wildcat ski area in Pinkham Notch, this is definitely one of the nicest waterfalls in the White Mountains.

More a series of falls rather than one single plunge, Thompson Falls seemed to go on and on. The higher I climbed the more there was to see. Give me a drizzly overcast day and I could easily spend 4-5 hours here photographing. Sadly, I had to cut this first visit short on account of darkness, but I have every intention of returning soon.

Horsetail, Thompson Falls, NH

These images are but a small sample of what this series of waterfalls has to offer. With the relative ease of the hike to get here I will certainly be adding this to the itinerary of upcoming waterfall workshops.

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For those interested in knowing, all of these images were captured using my Fujifilm X-T2 camera with the wonderful XF10-24mm lens. For all of the images I used Formatt-Hitech Firecrest filters, a circular polarizer as well as a 4-stop ND filter, all mounted in the Firecrest 100 filter holder.

 

 

WPC: Reflecting

Refelcting Sunrise

Sunrise Reflection. Hampton Beach, NH

Fujifilm X-T2, XF10-24, 10mm, f/11, ISO 200, 0.4 seconds.

Additionally I used a Haida 3-stop neutral density filter to slow the shutter speed a bit in combination with a Singh Ray 2-stop reverse graduated neutral density filter to help balance the sky with the darker foreground. To keep the filters in place I used a Formatt-Hitech Firecrest 100 filter holder.

Of course the camera was securely mounted on a tripod.

(Links are provided for your convenience, I have no affiliation with the companies mentioned)

Go HERE for more interpretations of Reflecting.

WPC: Green

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Yes, it is spring here in the Northern Hemisphere, and the Weekly Photo Challenge theme is indeed Green, but there are some of us who aren’t quite ready to let go of winter!

Waterfall Photography Workshop #1


As we welcome spring I’d like to announce the first of several waterfall photography workshops I’ll be leading throughout this spring and into early summer.

From the afternoon of Friday May 19th thru Sunday evening May 21st I’ll be taking a limited number of participants to some of my favorite waterfalls located throughout the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

Each day we’ll start off bright and early photographing at least 2 waterfalls each morning. Following the mornings outing we’ll take a mid day break for lunch and some image review.

If time allows during the mid day break we will also go over some post processing tips to ensure your finished images are works of photographic art you’ll be proud to show off.

Then in the afternoon we’ll head back out for some more flowing water action.

What’s Included. 

Guiding to some of the most spectacular waterfalls New Hampshire has to offer.

Instruction and tips on composing your waterfall images as well as camera settings to help achieve the silky ethereal look of the flowing water sought after by most waterfalls enthusiasts.

Image review and post processing tips using Lightroom and the Nik Collection of creative plugins(available for free HERE).

What’s Not. 

Meals and lodging.

Transportation to and from the North Conway, NH area.

What To Expect, What To Bring. 

The workshop will take place rain or shine, with overcast drizzling weather my preferred weather for photographing waterfalls due to the nice even lighting that will make achieving good exposures a breeze. With that in mind, keep your fingers crossed for cloudy days!

All the waterfalls we’ll visit will require some walking and light to moderate hiking, so comfortable and supportive shoes with good traction are recommended.

Bring several layers, including a rain jacket, as the weather conditions can vary greatly in the mountains.

Recommended Gear List. 

Camera and wide-angle zoom lens.

Circular polarizer.

Tripod.

Lens cloth.

Spare batteries and memory cards.

Investment – $750 (payable via check or PayPal invoice) 

A $150 deposit is required to reserve your spot with the balance due at least 30 days prior to the first day of the workshop.

Space on this workshop is limited. By limiting attendance to a small number of participants I’m able to provide the maximum amount of individual attention. 

CONTACT me should you have further questions or to reserve your spot. 

DISCLAIMER:  Workshops are held rain or shine with no refunds given due to inclement weather. However should the weather be severe enough to warrant cancellation full credit will be given towards a future workshop. Credit based on amount of time lost due to weather. Loss of at least one full shooting day required to receive credit. 

CANCELATION POLICY: Cancellations made more than 30 days prior to the scheduled start date receive a full refund less a $50 cancellation fee. Cancellations made less than 30 days prior to the start date will receive no refund unless the space can be filled. 

I do realize that sometimes life gets in the way, so should a last minute cancellation be necessary on your part you’re not out of luck. Your workshop fee(less the $50 cancellation fee) may be applied to a future workshop. 

The Art Of Seeing Differently. 

Been There, Done That. 

Now do it differently.

The world is full of iconic locations that have been photographed extensively, Mount Chocorua in New Hampshire, especially as seen from this bridge, is one of them.

The challenge for me was to come away with an image that wasn’t a cookie-cutter copy of many of the other images, including many of my own,  taken at this scenic, very recognizable, and oh so often photographed place.

To do this required seeing differently.

How could I capture the essence of this beautiful view, ensureing the recognizability of one of  New Hampshire’s most iconic scenic vistas? Composition, choice of aperture and focus point, thus affecting the depth of field and final image, were all questions I had to answer prior to pressing the shutter.

With this image I believe I’ve captured one of the most recognizable and most often photographed mountains in New Hampshire in unique way. Has a similar photo been made? I have no doubt there has. As the saying goes, “there’s nothing new in art.” My goal was not to reinvent the wheel, my goal was to see the mountain in a way I had never seen it before.

See the mountain, then, see it differently.

 

Below is are several ways I’ve seen the mountain in the past.