Beyond The Campfire was created to encourage readers to explore the great outdoors and to observe it close up. Get out and take a hike, go fishing or canoeing, or simply stretch out on a blanket under a summer sky...and take your camera along. We'll talk about combining outdoor activities with photography. We'll look at everything from improving your understanding of the basics of photography to more advanced techniques including things like how to see photographically and capturing the light. We'll explore the night sky, location shoots, using off camera speedlights along with nature and landscape. Grab your camera...strap on your hiking boots...and join me. I think you will enjoy the adventure.

The Dark Horse Region

The Dark Horse Region
A View into the center of the Milky Way

Monday, November 28, 2011

Bad Means Good...

For a photographer...bad weather usually means good shooting.  Now don't get me wrong, I shoot in all kinds of weather and lighting conditions, but some kinds of light are better than others for certain kinds of shots.  Today was a good example.  Three days ago it was bright and sunny and rather pleasant out for this time of year.  Being off for the holidays opened up an opportunity to sneak in a photo shoot so I headed over to Shanty Hollow to see if I could capture some early winter atmosphere shots around the falls for my long term project.  I managed to get a few shots in spite of the harsh lighting, and there was some water coming off the falls but nothing spectacular.  Overall the light just was not right.  The day was perfect, but not for shooting. Three days later, everything changed.  It started to rain and it rained rather hard for most of the night.  Monday morning it was ugly out...cold, rainy, overcast, and gray...a perfect day for a photo shoot. Combined with previous rains earlier in the week I figured there would be more water coming off the falls.

There are actually three or four falls around Shanty Hollow Lake...I've only found three...I hear there are others but I don't know where they are.  The three I know of are all on the same trail that leads to the main falls.  The other two only flow during times of prolonged rain like I had on this hike.  The main falls is roughly 60 feet or so high from it's highest point...with about a 50 foot drop from the edge of the bluff and except in mid summer and even early fall when it is dry, it will usually have some water flowing over it depending on rainfall amounts.

When I left around 8:00 am, it was still raining, but I was ready for that having packed rain gear for not only myself, but for the camera gear as well.  By the time I arrived about 40 minutes later, the rain had tapered off to a light sprinkle.

Overcast skies are best for photographing waterfalls.  The reason being is that you want soft diffused light at low intensity levels to allow for long exposures.  The soft light casts a smooth even light even through heavy cover and the long exposures allow for softening of the flowing waters.  The hike to the falls is moderately rough, a bit slippery when wet, but doable by most people.  It took about 20 maybe 25 minutes as I stopped a time or two along the way.  I wasn't disappointed...the falls was flowing as hard as I've ever seen it flow and it was generating a lot of energy.

I took several short video sequences and about a hundred still photos.  Wished I could have stayed all day, but by noon, I was beginning to get wet even with the rain gear and my camera gear was also getting a bit too wet for comfort so I packed it up and headed in.  On this particularly bad weather day, the photo shooting was pretty good as all the elements were there...light, drama, scenery, and me.

Here's a short video from the shoot.

1 comment:

Ronnie said...

Pretty cool Keith, they just keep getting better!