Tory's Falls Before Work

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Mountain Cascades
Last weekend I wanted to get out for some pictures, but the weather was a little strange to say the least.  That kept me from being able to plan a destination, and since I had a lot to do around the house, I decided to stick close to home.  With my schedule, I rarely get the chance to go out on a trek during the week, but with going in late this morning, I decided to head out to Hanging Rock for a quick attempt at Tory's Falls after all of the rain that we have gotten.  The forecast was calling for increasing clouds starting at around 9am, which would give me plenty of time to get to the park.

I arrived at about 8:30 and found that the clouds were nearly non-existent.  Normally, I would abandon the shoot and head off to something else, or home.  I knew that this waterfall was shielded from the sunlight for the majority of the morning, and clouds were just a little extra insurance against highlights.  I made the quick hike out to the Falls and found that the water was better than I had seen it in a very long time, but wasn't as good as it had been during the floods from some of the pictures I had seen.  Regardless, I was here, and there was good water so I set the camera up.

I chose to really take advantage of the full water, and planned on getting up close to this really long waterfall.  Since I couldn't jump the gorge, I fitted my 70-200mm lens for some reach, and I added an intensifying polarizer to the end.  I found a good location that omitted some of the close up tree branches since those would be too close to remain in focus.  I then started to frame up some compositions.

A Little Spray
I started the morning with the typical overall shot which I though turned out pretty good.  But then while the light was still very even, I started to pick out isolations within the falls.  This is always a fun trick to use with really large waterfalls.  I started to get some abstract images which got me pretty excited about the waterfall.  It is not always the easiest thing to accomplish pulling small sections out and having them make sense.  However, this one is pretty easy to pick apart.  Maybe it is that I've worked this waterfall several times in the past, who knows?

Listen to the Rhythm
This is one of those waterfalls that really does benefit from a portrait orientation though.  While it will work with both orientations, you can really fill the frame with what you like with the camera vertical.  Here you can see two of the really interesting parts of this waterfall.  There are the lumps and bumps in the upper right, and the gentle cascades on the rocks below.  While this is only a fraction of the entire falls, most of the personality is wrapped up right here.  At least that is how I view it.  The water flow really helps out!

Natural Expression
Of course, the vertical view also works for isolations, and gives the frame a much different feel, even when looking at the same section.  There is something really nice about the different layers of rocks, and the way the water caresses them.  This waterfall is almost dreamy when you get right down to it.  You can get lost in the spray for hours, or at least that is my hope when looking at the pictures.

Take the Step
Tory's Falls is much longer than any camera could capture in a single frame.  It is also too narrow to make a compelling image when captured all at once.  You can play around with the main section though, and get a fair amount in.  I like this shot since it adds a little more of the cascades, but it also adds a nice red rock to the bottom of the image.  This balances nicely with the warm toned section of rock in the upper right corner.  The similar color shades provide a nice little frame for the waterfall.

I wish that there was more that I do with this waterfall, but there is about one single position where it can be shot well.  From here, you can do a lot, but I would love to be able to move around the subject and capture it from different angles.  In spite of that, I was still able to collect 39 frames from this single waterfall.  From those, I chose five that I really liked, which is actually pretty good.  I'll probably just add one of them to the gallery though, since all of the pictures are of the same subject.

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