Hidden Falls – Big Woods State Park
I am starting a new series of articles here at the Fleeting Glimpse Images Photography Blog. . In this feature I will discuss a single shot I’ve photographed and file it under the category “Behind the shot” We will wrap up the Three Cs of Image Editing in a few days.
This photo was taken at Big Woods State Park in Minnesota. I was actually there to shoot images for an article on RAW processing for CorelDraw Unleashed Magazine. The particulars of his shoot were to capture as wide a dynamic range in my photographs as possible to demonstrate the superiority of RAW vs. JPG in image capture. I wanted scenes with sun and shadow and where better than a waterfall canyon at sunrise to get such things.
Most of the images revolved around shooting sunrise as the forest released the shadows of the night. On my way back to the trail, I saw that the level rays of the sun were going to intersect the waterfall and I hurried down the long bank to get into position for this shot. Most of the images of Hidden Falls are taken from the east side where the trail comes down to the stream via a set of wooden steps. As shown in this image taken in the summer time from the base of the stairs.
The better images of Hidden Falls are the images from the unexpected angles. Above the waterfall to there is a series of concrete stepping stones that lead you to a path across the river. By following the path a couple of hundred yards you can find a place to climb down and work your way back up the stream to the vantage for the first shot.
I shot this image at F-22 with a shutter speed of 2 seconds on my Canon 5D with the EF17-40MM F4L lens set to 40MM. The shot was made at ISO 50 and the aperture priority metering was set at -1/3 EV to cut down on the highlights. The camera was tripod mounted with a remote shutter release firing the image capture. The images was captured at 8:14 AM on October 20, 2007. The image has seen processing in the RAW converter only at this point.
One of the unique things about the Hidden Falls location is the shallow profile of the canyon. It is one of the few waterfalls in the region which doesn’t reside in the bottom of a steep canyon. Thus: it is possible catch the level beams of light as they strike the water from the east. This makes the photo quite striking as the vertical flow of the water counterpoints the nearly-horizontal rays of golden autumn light.
Normally I council people to keep the sky out of their compositions as the metering becomes difficult and you simply can’t capture the dynamic range of the scene. In this case, the clouds were nonexistent so there were no bright whites to blow out in the upper reaches of the image. The shadows were still soft enough in the gentle morning light to keep things within the sensor’s range.
Here are a couple more images captured along the way:
Rikk Flohr © 2008