Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for February, 2010

Some old Classics…

DeSoto Falls

DeSoto Middle Falls

Three weekends ago I headed up to the North Georgia mountains on what turned out to be a near perfect waterfall

shooting day. Along for the ride was my trusty dog Sally and a fellow photographer Nina Parker. Nina wanted to come along to do some hiking and to also see some of what the mountains had to offer (and of course to hang out with me… thats a given of course). Because of time we ended up only visiting two falls: DeSoto Falls (middle falls aka upper falls), and Helton Creek Falls (both lower and upper).

DeSoto Falls

Our first stop was to DeSoto. I am calling the main waterfall most people refer to as “DeSoto Falls” middle falls because there is actually, along the same trail system another larger set of waterfalls that at one time were referred to as the “upper” falls. “Officially” the main DeSoto waterfall is now referred to as the “upper falls”… Confused yet? 🙂

After paying our parking fee and grabbing our gear we headed off down the trail. The hike is very easy and well maintained. After about a 1/2 mile hike you cross a small bridge and the trail turns up the mountain to the viewing platform. Normally I hate these viewing platforms, but in this case the best view to capture the whole waterfall is by shooting from the platform (this just means everyone and their brother has the same shot basically). Regardless it makes for a good place to sit your stuff and take in the site.

DeSoto Middle Falls

DeSoto Middle Falls

Nina and myself discussed approaches to shooting waterfalls from a compositional and technical perspective. Nina had not shot very much landscape photography,  so it was fun sharing some of the knowledge I have picked up over the years. A couple of topics we covered were aperture and shutter speed. Then we discussed the importance of the proper lenses to capture the whole picture. Nina was shooting with a 40d and a 28mm lens (crop or 44mm full frame). It was tough capturing all of the waterfall from our available vantage point with that lens (check out here shot here and compare to the ones I captured with a 24mm on my 5d on the left).

After the platform we sneaked around below on the creek itself to try and get a little more up close and person to the falls. If your curious here is a shot Nina took of me placing camera and myself in harms way straddling the creek as it narrowed next to the platform. above is the shot I was capturing that Nina caught of me shooting.

Helton Creek Falls

After getting back to the car we headed up US 19 towards Blood Mtn. As we winded up the road we could actually get a glimpse of the “upper” Desoto Falls from the roadway. I really wish there was a good vantage point to view this. Anyhow, we proceeded past the Gap and down the north side slope of Blood Mtn. and made our turn down Helton Creek Road. Once we arrived we found several cars in the parking area.

Helton Creek Falls

Helton Creek Falls

First we hit the lower falls. This was my second trip to the lower falls and I wasn’t impressed with the photo opportunities then and I was definitely not this time around. We snapped off a few shots but soon headed up to the main or upper falls.

The upper falls is a much larger waterfall and also has a viewing platform. This platform allows you to get a nice view of the waterfall but because of the way things lay out there are much more opportunities to get shots beyond. One disappointing

Lower Helton Creek Falls

Lower Helton Creek Falls

feature we came across on this visit was a large tree that had been cut down and was laying across the creek. The location of the tree also covered up what I though, from my previous trip, was one of the cooler vantage points of a nice landscaped oriented shot. At this vantage point is a nice cascade that runs the width of the creek. No more! The BIG tree I hope will be removed at some point soon (lets hope our tax dollars are at work).

Overall this was a fun half day trip to the mountains. Hopefully Nina thought is was worth her while. Sally said she had fun, so I guess, in the end, that is what is important. 🙂

Advertisements

Read Full Post »