Daylight and Waterfalls : Michael Frye Images

Tree shadows, rainbow, and waterfall, California, USA

Tree shadows, rainbow, and waterfall, California. Claudia and I photographed this waterfall in mushy gentle the night earlier than, however I got here again the following morning hoping to see tree shadows when the solar acquired excessive sufficient. And positive sufficient, finally timber forged lovely striped shadows throughout the autumn, making a sunbeam-like impact. However I didn’t count on to additionally see a rainbow interspersed with the tree shadows – a pleasant bonus. I used a telephoto lens to fill the body with probably the most eye-catching a part of the scene, a polarizer to reinforce the rainbow, and a neutral-density filter to decelerate the shutter pace and provides the water a mushy, silky look. 135mm, 3 seconds at f/16, ISO 100, polarizer, ND filter (most likely a 7-stop filter).

I like waterfalls. Who doesn’t? Apart from their magnificence, giant waterfalls forged damaging ions into the air, and damaging ions supposedly have well being advantages – making folks really feel refreshed and renewed, serving to regulate sleep patterns and temper, lowering stress, and boosting the immune system. Or not; the scientific proof is combined at greatest. However regardless of the cause, folks appear magnetically drawn to waterfalls.

And naturally waterfalls are fairly photogenic. Over the previous 12 months I’ve had the chance to go to a number of waterfalls I’ve by no means photographed earlier than. And whereas mushy gentle often works for waterfalls, I attempted to hunt out extra uncommon lighting circumstances that would give the images a unique look and feeling. That meant utilizing daylight, however waterfalls often reside in basins and canyons, in order that they don’t usually get that heat, low-angle gentle that we’re usually on the lookout for. And when the solar does get excessive sufficient to strike the autumn, it’s usually filtered via timber, creating splotchy gentle. Splotchy gentle might be harsh and downright terrible, however generally, below the precise circumstances, it could work. And – once more, below the precise circumstances – backlight can spotlight a waterfall’s spray. And whereas entrance gentle is often flat and boring, with waterfalls it could create rainbows.

So right here’s a mini-portfolio of waterfall photographs I’ve made not too long ago, with prolonged captions to elucidate how I attempted to make use of completely different kinds of daylight for every scenario.

— Michael Frye

Waterfall with backlit spray, Sierra Nevada, CA, USA

Waterfall with backlit spray, Sierra Nevada, California. Claudia and I hiked to this waterfall early within the morning, and the sunshine was so-so at first. However because the solar rose larger it backlit the spray kicking up from the bottom of the waterfall, creating lovely amber-colored veils of mist in entrance of the autumn. I experimented with completely different shutter speeds, finally deciding on 1/6 sec. to create some blurring and sense of movement, whereas preserving a number of the texture of the spray. 81mm, 1/6 sec. at f/16, ISO 200, polarizer.

Dappled light on a waterfall, Sierra Nevada, CA, USA

Dappled gentle on a waterfall, Sierra Nevada, California. I posted this picture after our pack journey into the Sierra backcountry this summer time, however I’ve included it once more right here as a result of it’s a very good instance of working with completely different varieties of sunshine on waterfalls. Franka Gabler and I have been heading again to camp after dawn, and determined to take a look at this waterfall, the place we discovered some lovely, dappled gentle on one part of the autumn. This sort of gentle can look harsh and terrible, however right here the spots of sunshine had a pleasant, fairly-even sample we thought may work. The sunshine was, after all, shifting and altering because the solar moved, so I needed to hold adapting my composition accordingly. I attempted to seek out moments the place the solar was hitting one thing attention-grabbing, just like the little ledge good of middle on this picture, and in addition tried to keep away from having shiny spots contact the sting of the body, the place they might pull the attention out of the image. (That is the composition I appreciated greatest; you possibly can see certainly one of Franka’s variations right here.) Once more, I needed to experiment to seek out the precise shutter pace, and settled, once more, on 1/6 sec. I used a polarizer to chop glare and reflections on the moist rock, however can’t bear in mind whether or not I used a neutral-density filter. 94mm, 1/6 sec. at f/16, ISO 100, polarizer.

Rainbow and rapids below a waterfall, Idaho

Rainbow and rapids beneath a waterfall, Idaho. Technically this isn’t {a photograph} of a waterfall, however the rainbow was created by the spray of a waterfall, in order that counts, proper? I visited this waterfall within the morning, hoping, once more, to see some tree shadows, or a rainbow. The tree shadows didn’t materialize, and whereas I did see a rainbow, it didn’t line up nicely with the waterfall itself. Nevertheless, if I moved round I may place the rainbow towards a pleasant sample of waves within the rapids beneath the autumn. After some experimentation I settled on a shutter pace of 1 second to offer the rapids an honest blur (however not an excessive amount of), and used a polarizer to reinforce the rainbow. The rainbow waxed and waned because the wind blew the spray round, however at instances the rainbows was fairly vivid, so I timed my exposures accordingly. 87mm, 1 second at f/13, ISO 100, polarizer, 4-stop ND filter.

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Michael Frye is knowledgeable photographer specializing in landscapes and nature. He’s the creator or principal photographer of The Photographer’s Information to Yosemite, Yosemite Meditations, Yosemite Meditations for Girls, Yosemite Meditations for Adventurers, and Digital Panorama Images: Within the Footsteps of Ansel Adams and the Nice Masters. He has additionally written three eBooks: Gentle & Land: Landscapes within the Digital Darkroom, Publicity for Out of doors Images, and Landscapes in Lightroom: The Important Step-by-Step Information. Michael has written quite a few journal articles on the artwork and strategy of pictures, and his photographs have been revealed in over thirty nations world wide. Michael has lived both in or close to Yosemite Nationwide Park since 1983, at the moment residing simply exterior the park in Mariposa, California.

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