Waterfalls of Western North Carolina

Log Hollow Falls

In May I was able to travel to the waterfalls of Western North Carolina.  I wanted to find out what all the excitement was about. I had never thought waterfalls were particularly photogenic.

Getting to the first waterfall was an easy hike. Our group of photographers took pictures quietly as we fell under the spell of the water rushing down the mountain. I wanted to slow the action of the water so that the water looked like spun glass. The way to do that is to slow the shutter speed down to around 1/2 second to 2 seconds. In order to control the shutter speed you set the mode to manual priority, then, set the aperture to f/16 so that you can get good focus and depth of field. Then, set the shutter speed to 1/2 second. The ISO should be set to 400. Once you begin to photograph you can think about leading lines which lead your eye into the scene. 

Bull Pen Falls

The second waterfall (Bull Pen Falls) was a bit more of a hike and required some climbing–tough to do when you are carrying a backpack and tripod but not impossible. Kind of fun, actually.
We were able to get up close and the rocks had interesting patterns and colors.

Triple Falls

Other factors to consider when you are photographing waterfalls are the water on the leaves and the rocks around the falls.  With a polarizer you can rotate it to subdue the reflection on the rocks or the leaves. You don’t want to have a lot of shine on the rocks because the shine can draw your eye away from your subject.

The third waterfall was Triple Falls. It was named because there were two smaller falls before arriving at the large falls seen in the last picture above.

Waterfalls in the first weekend in May were incredible to see due to the sound and power of the water. To be able to recreate the experience in a photograph was the goal. In looking at my photos when I got home I was reminded of the feeling of awe I felt when heard and saw this natural force. I am convinced that it is worthwhile to photograph waterfalls.