Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

A smaller waterfall

with 40 comments

On April 8th, after photographing Bull Creek’s wide falls, I moved half a mile downstream and dealt with a waterfall that’s narrower and not as tall but that was still forceful after the weekend’s rain. Where I showed you pictures of the other falls at cotton-inducing speeds of 1/10th and 1/8th of a second, this time you’re getting the stop-action look of 1/1250th and 1/1600th of a second. The second photograph, taken from farther to the right but zoomed in more, gives you a closer view of the falling and churning water. And speaking of falling, the wet rocks were pretty slippery, so prudent me didn’t risk getting any closer to the edge, even for the sake of what might have been a better picture.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman 

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 16, 2019 at 4:54 AM

40 Responses

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  1. That’s an impressive sight with all that roiling water.

    Nature on the Edge

    April 16, 2019 at 5:47 AM

  2. That reminds me that I’ve been wanting for a long time to see the Pedernales Falls, I really need to go there after a (good) rainfall.


    April 16, 2019 at 8:01 AM

  3. The water in the second photo reminds me of Spanish moss, or hanging lichens. And your comment about forgoing a trip onto the rocks for a better photo? Of course it brought to mind this gem.


    April 16, 2019 at 8:17 AM

    • The falling water in the second picture does have a Spanish mossy look, doesn’t it? I think that’s due to the high shutter speed that revealed individual “strands” of water. And that video clip sure nails the voice and mannerisms. Actually I was on the wet rocks, which is how I know their slipperiness, and why I kept a safety margin between the edge and me.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 16, 2019 at 11:37 AM

      • There are a few brands and species of water shoes. I have a pair of Keens recommended by Greg Russell. Recently these were highly recommended by a photographer on Facebook who leads waterfall workshops. I might get a pair. As you might imagine I spend a lot of time clambering over slippery rocks.
        I agree with Linda about the Spanish mossy look.

        Steve Gingold

        April 16, 2019 at 3:28 PM

        • I like one of the descriptions of that shoe: “Uber-sticky Vibram Mega-Grip rubber outsole.” I can see where that would come in handy. If you decide to get a pair, let us know what you think.

          Before heading for the falls I’d put on my thigh-high rubber boots because I knew I’d sometimes be walking not just on wet surfaces but actually in water. Naturally the boots are good for water and mud, but the soles don’t give me a good grip on slippery and uneven surfaces. At the second falls I left my camera bag in the car and was walking around with just my camera and 24–105mm all-purpose lens. That way I didn’t have to deal with getting thrown off balance by the weight of the heavy bag.

          Steve Schwartzman

          April 16, 2019 at 3:46 PM

          • I wear a pair of Muck Boots that go up to my knees for less hazardous water and I also have a pair of hip boots for deeper. Those have felt on the bottoms which help with traction. The only problem is having to wash the felt with bleach so as not to carry unwanted invasive creatures from one water body to another.
            The idea with the water shoes is to let your feet get wet and the lower legs of your pants if not wearing shorts. Refreshing on a hot summer day.

            Steve Gingold

            April 16, 2019 at 3:51 PM

            • Yes, I saw in one of the reviews that a guy said he was happy with the shoes completely submerged but that they didn’t completely dry out by the next morning.

              Steve Schwartzman

              April 16, 2019 at 3:57 PM

              • Yeah, I saw that too. They are initially for rock climbing so that would be a pain. But if one is using them for water adventures then once you step in no biggie.

                Steve Gingold

                April 16, 2019 at 4:07 PM

  4. Linda was reminded of Dana Carvey as Pres. Bush, and I was reminded of Beatles’ “Dear Prudence.”

    Robert Parker

    April 16, 2019 at 12:12 PM

    • My association is more yours. I remember it from when the White Album was still pretty new. All these years later you’ve prompted me to find out more about it, and here’s what the Wikipedia relevant article says: “The song was written by John Lennon, although credited to Lennon–McCartney. Written in Rishikesh in India, it was inspired by actress Mia Farrow’s sister, Prudence Farrow, who became obsessive about meditating while practising with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. As her designated “buddies” on the meditation course, Lennon and George Harrison attempted to coax Farrow out of her seclusion, which led to Lennon writing the song.”

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 16, 2019 at 12:35 PM

  5. Even from a safe distance your photos provide a realistic impression of the tumbling and churning water, Steve. Since you likely left your underwater camera at home, these images were preferable. 🙂


    April 16, 2019 at 8:54 PM

    • I don’t have an underwater camera. In this case I was doing my best to have my regular camera remain an overwater camera. Fortunately I succeeded.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 16, 2019 at 9:25 PM

  6. […] at Bull Creek on April 8th I mostly photographed waterfalls but was also happy to see a Clematis texensis vine with a trio of flowers on it. Anyone watching me […]

  7. I really prefer the stop-action look you show here to the “cotton look”. These are lovely shots and I’m very glad you prudently held back!
    If the rain doesn’t let up here pretty soon I’ll be able to take pictures of a waterfall in our basement. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go dig out my White Album and listen with new ears.


    May 2, 2019 at 9:31 AM

    • I had the White Album in Honduras. Not many Americans listened to it under those circumstances.

      I, too, generally prefer the stop-action look because of the shapes the water takes on when it falls and splashes. With that in mind, you may remember this picture from Illinois Beach State Park:


      Steve Schwartzman

      May 2, 2019 at 3:03 PM

      • What fun! I’ve taken similar shots in the dead of winter, when the spray flies up and then freezes, leaving some pretty cool shapes.


        May 3, 2019 at 9:47 AM

        • Of course I never saw anything frozen there, but I might endure a bit of cold for the opportunity.

          Steve Schwartzman

          May 4, 2019 at 9:19 AM

          • It is worth it once in awhile and I still hope to be at the right place at the right time to see snowy owls hanging around at the beach. They seem to like the harbor, though, and I seldom go there.


            May 5, 2019 at 7:20 AM

            • Then it might be advantageous to harbor thoughts of going there more often.

              Steve Schwartzman

              May 5, 2019 at 7:27 AM

              • It might.


                May 6, 2019 at 7:17 AM

                • You’ve shown still water in your work, including in your latest post, but I don’t recall seeing energetic water, like a breaking wave or a waterfall, in it. Am I misremembering?

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  May 6, 2019 at 7:28 AM

                • There isn’t a lot of moving water around here, as Illinois is so flat. The Des Plaines River is a big fat ribbon of mud moving sluggishly along. I have painted it but I don’t like it much. I do have plans to paint a breaking wave at the Lake.


                  May 6, 2019 at 7:32 AM

                • Then we’ll wait for the breaking news that your post with a wave in it has appeared.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  May 6, 2019 at 7:44 AM

                • At the moment there are a number of ideas swirling around in my head. I want to do a series based on photos from my grandmother’s album of her cowboying days, and likewise of my mother. For those I want to draw on some of the amazing textural photos you have shared. They really inspire me. And right now I am working on a stylized image of a pitcher plant, because the art deco era really inspires me as well. On the other hand I am beginning to be noticed around here for the the colorful but representational landscapes I do, so I’m not sure I want to stray too far from that. Too much going on in my head, to tell the truth, so I’ve been doing a lot of weeding in the garden while the ideas sort themselves out.


                  May 6, 2019 at 7:49 AM

                • Happy mental percolating!

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  May 6, 2019 at 8:03 AM

                • To aid in the process I also bought some bullfrog tadpoles. Have I already mentioned that? I’m so excited. The erstwhile rain garden has long since become a permanent pond in the back yard, so I felt some frogs were required. I can’t wait to see my westie’s face when the frogs emerge and start hopping around. He doesn’t know the tadpoles are there, lurking in the muddy water. It is muddy because he likes to play in it, and it keeps the mud stirred up. I figure this is good for the tadpoles. I was worried the water would be clear and raccoons would discover them but not a chance. I am a little disappointed, though, because it means I can’t see them, either, and I do enjoy watching the transformation take place. Maybe I’ll buy some more and keep them in a tank until they are mature.


                  May 6, 2019 at 8:19 AM

                • Ah, helping nature along a little. I know you mentioned tadpoles but I can’t recall whether you said you were buying some. When we visited the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center last week we heard a bullfrog croaking loudly from one of the ponds. Let’s hope that sound will be coming your way soon.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  May 6, 2019 at 8:26 AM

                • Oh, yes let’s! I warned my neighbor…he already knows I’m a bit kooky. Hopefully he won’t mind the croaking 🙂


                  May 7, 2019 at 8:49 AM

  8. It’s always a delight to see water bodies especially the water falls. You have written it very well and the picture are just wow. I have also written some blogs on waterfalls, would you mind giving your feedback?

    Nikhil Soni

    May 5, 2019 at 5:07 AM

  9. You captured the details of waterfall in great way!
    In my countries there are a lot of waterfalls too. They’re high and the waterflows are heavy. If you’re into waterfalls, you should check my post about Segerincing Waterfall here:


    There is rainbow too!
    Greetings from Indonesia 🙂

    Panda Bear Journey

    June 14, 2019 at 5:06 AM

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