Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

A new waterfall

with 40 comments

Way back on April 20th I found a waterfall in the Upper Bull Creek Greenbelt that was new to me. I took pictures in rather harsh light and also went back the next day to take more photographs in slightly softer light. Somehow I never showed any of those pictures here, so partly to make up for that and partly as a scene-setter, I’ve begun this post with a ferns-on-boulder view of the falls from back then.

On June 28th I returned to the waterfall, where I experimented with fast shutter speeds (above, 1/1600 of a second, shades of Hokusai’s “Great Wave”) and slow shutter speeds (below, 1/25 of a second). Each approach has advantages and drawbacks.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 7, 2019 at 4:48 AM

40 Responses

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  1. As a fan of Hokusai I appreciate the second shot. Usually I prefer longer shutter speeds, which of course you know, but I do like that second one with such shapely watery protuberances.

    Steve Gingold

    August 7, 2019 at 5:18 AM

  2. I am with Steve. I normally prefer long shutter speeds, but the shot has a sculptural effect that I find riveting.

    Michael Scandling

    August 7, 2019 at 5:22 AM

    • I usually go with quick shutter speeds but even for me this high-speed shot seemed unusually sculptural and energetic.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 7, 2019 at 6:21 AM

  3. I like the bottom one best.
    When I experimented with different shutter speeds at waterfalls, I never had any luck even with extremely short ones.


    August 7, 2019 at 8:44 AM

  4. Water, especially water in motion, is a fascinating subject for the photographer. From the mighty waterfalls to the tiniest droplets we have access to a vast area to be explored and photographed. Your experiment with slow and fast shutter speeds was definitely worth your effort. I like all pictures. Have a great day, Steve!

    Peter Klopp

    August 7, 2019 at 10:12 AM

  5. Beautiful photos exhibiting admirable skill


    August 7, 2019 at 12:03 PM

  6. I was one of the many who knew “The Wave,” but knew nothing about its creator. Thank you for remedying my ignorance, Steve.


    August 7, 2019 at 7:26 PM

  7. It’s an amazement to me that the second and third photos were drawn from the place shown in the first. The second reminds me of algae, or kelp, or streamers of sargasso weed in breaking waves. But that third photo is powerfully evocative. I see two arms reaching out as if in supplication: perhaps the last gesture of someone being washed away in a flood. Every time I look at it, it brings tears to my eyes.


    August 7, 2019 at 10:54 PM

    • You raise a good point: a closeup can differ a lot from the overview that includes it.

      As noted before, you possess a vivid imagination. When I saw how the last photograph came out, it moved me esthetically but not to the point of witnessing a person’s last moments in raging water. I was grateful for the presence on the tree trunks during the most recent visit’ they hadn’t been there in June.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 8, 2019 at 6:41 AM

    • May I cheer you with some thoughts on My Darling Clementine? https://youtu.be/f0Wa_tnvyag


      August 10, 2019 at 11:53 PM

      • Even before I went to the link I was laughing, because I remember the chorus to the version of the song I learned as a kid: “You are lost and gone forever, dreadful sorry, Clementine.” Then, I opened the video, and I’m still laughing. It was a great start to a day that’s going to be a hot, sweaty mess — and maybe fun, too.


        August 11, 2019 at 5:54 AM

        • Hopefully, the day will be more fun than sweaty mess. By the way, I have just realised that, like Clementine, my shoes are number nines. That amuses me, somehow.


          August 11, 2019 at 7:12 AM

      • Tom Lehrer was a mathematician and a clever comedian. Thanks for that link.

        Steve Schwartzman

        August 11, 2019 at 6:58 PM

      • I enjoyed it and passed the link along to a musically inclined former student who I thought would appreciate it. How did it come your way?

        Steve Schwartzman

        August 12, 2019 at 7:44 AM

        • I found the link when I was trying to find out more information on “Clementine”.


          August 13, 2019 at 6:58 AM

  8. The photos are beautiful, but I particularly like that second one, Steve!

    Lavinia Ross

    August 7, 2019 at 11:18 PM

  9. Your pictures are breathtaking!! Looks like one of the waterfalls is frozen!!! Amazing what God has created


    September 27, 2019 at 9:06 PM

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