Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

New Zealand: Dorothy Falls

with 16 comments

On February 19th we visited Dorothy Falls, about half an hour east of Hokitika on the South Island. You can see the lushness of the native bush that surrounds the falls.

Here’s a closer view of the waterfall:

Below is an even closer view hand-held at 1/15th of a second. I’ve made longer hand-held exposures, but they push the limits of a photographer’s stability. One thing that has helped, when it has been available, is steadying myself against a tree or boulder.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 3, 2017 at 4:54 AM

16 Responses

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  1. Incredible! I’ve always wanted to visit New Zealand.


    May 3, 2017 at 6:29 AM

    • So had I, and we finally went two years ago. We didn’t expect to return so soon, but we went back for a wedding and ended up driving 4700 miles on the second trip.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 3, 2017 at 6:58 AM

  2. The rocks just above the pool are fascinating. They appear to be falling, too: drawn down by gravity, or pressed down by the water. The degree of water-softness in the last photo is perfect; the lines in the cascades replicate the lines in the rocks surprisingly well.

    Your title made me laugh. My first thought was, “Dorothy falls — but can she get up?” Do you know who Dorothy was? The Dorothy who comes to mind was a little girl who got picked up by a tornado, and I’m pretty sure she didn’t land in New Zealand.


    May 3, 2017 at 8:43 AM

    • On the other hand, it just occurred to me that Oz is also a nickname for Australia. I’ve never considered the possibility that there might have been a connection when the story was created. It’s something to explore.


      May 3, 2017 at 8:47 AM

      • Here’s the take on that from snopes:


        Steve Schwartzman

        May 3, 2017 at 9:26 AM

        • That was a fascinating read. Of course, it led to a second question: even if the Wizard didn’t come from Australia, how did Australia come to be known as Oz?

          There’s nothing like an Ipad for passing the time at the Toyota dealership.


          May 3, 2017 at 10:33 AM

          • Car dealerships seem to be improving. When we were at the new location of Austin Subaru a few weeks ago we found it includes a small café where all the drinks and snacks are free for customers.

            Australia came to be known colloquially as Oz through phonetics. People truncated Australia to Aus, and before long the s picked up voicing to become a z. The consonant sound in the corresponding word for an inhabitant of that country, Aussie, can be pronounced as an s or a z.

            Steve Schwartzman

            May 3, 2017 at 10:46 AM

    • That tilted, roughly triangular area of rock caught my fancy as well. I don’t recall ever seeing a formation like that.

      With the water softness in the last picture I was channeling my inner Steve Gingold. Of course he does it better.

      I searched online for a while but didn’t find an explanation for the Dorothy in Dorothy Falls.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 3, 2017 at 9:21 AM

      • On the other hand, we do have those patented Schwartzman skies, which are as good as it gets.


        May 3, 2017 at 9:24 AM

  3. Those Niagara Falls barrel riders would find this falls a bumpy ride and a long fall to boot. These are very nice falls with the various changes in direction.

    Steve Gingold

    May 3, 2017 at 2:34 PM

    • As happy as you are with the waterfalls in New England, you’d go crazy with all the ones in New Zealand.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 3, 2017 at 3:51 PM

  4. Beautiful Steve .. well done on the last shot 😃


    May 5, 2017 at 11:24 PM

  5. […] curled tip of a new fern leaf. I photographed this one on February 19th along the path leading from Dorothy Falls to Lake […]

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