Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Waterfall Wednesday #1

with 25 comments

In recent years May has become a rainy month in Austin, as 2021 proved yet again. In fact the rain continued into June. On the morning of June 3rd, before the day turned and stayed rainy, I drove three miles to a tributary of Bull Creek, where a picturesque waterfall was flowing at full strength. The waterfall has two side-by-side parts, each shown here individually. I took the top picture at a shutter speed of half a second. For the other view I used one-eighth of a second and later cranked up the clarity slider in Photoshop.

And here’s a thought for today:

“Entre los individuos, como entre las naciones, el respeto al derecho ajeno es la paz.”
“Among individuals, as among nations, respect for the rights of others is peace.”
Benito Juárez, 1867.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 9, 2021 at 4:37 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , ,

25 Responses

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  1. This waterfall has a great shape to it, I love ones like this. I can see how the level of water could drastically alter the look of it. This has me wanting to get back out looking for waterfalls again.

    Todd Henson

    June 9, 2021 at 6:53 AM

    • A little later this morning I’m going back there to check it out again. I suspect that now, six days later, it won’t look as good because the rain tapered off over the past few days. Good luck on your quest for waterfalls near you.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 9, 2021 at 7:34 AM

  2. Nice! Waterfalls really are pretty much endlessly fascinating, aren’t they.

    Robert Parker

    June 9, 2021 at 7:21 AM

    • Fascinating, yes. Also loud: water is heavy and makes lots of noise when it comes down in quantities like those shown here.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 9, 2021 at 7:35 AM

  3. Obviously, this is one of the upsides of so much rain. Even though I’m not always fond of smoothed water, I like both of these images; the first doesn’t seem overdone, and, for my taste, the second is just right.


    June 9, 2021 at 7:21 AM

    • Your predilection is mine as well, as you’ve heard me say. For variety, though, I’ve done my share of experimenting with slow speeds. One approach is as here: a straightforward picture with silky/cottony water. I’ve also experimented with greater abstraction obtained by zooming the lens or otherwise moving the camera during the time the shutter remains open. You may have noticed that this post’s title has “#1” at the end of it; next Wednesday I’ll show a couple of those intentional-camera-movement pictures. There’ll be other follow-ups, too, which I’m spacing out at weekly intervals in hopes people won’t get tired of them.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 9, 2021 at 7:46 AM

  4. It’s a beautiful waterfall!

    I like the top image the best. You slowed the water down just enough to keep the texture and movement of the water without making the whole thing too soft, and blurry. It’s beautiful!


    June 9, 2021 at 7:31 AM

    • It is a beautiful waterfall. Because it disappears during the long Texas summer and other periods of little rain, I take advantage of rainy spells to go there and take pictures while the water is flowing at full force. You mentioned soft and blurry: next week I’ll show a couple of takes along those lines. I did them in a quest for greater abstraction; we’ll see what you think. The week after that I’ll show the results of the opposite approach, namely high shutter speeds to stop the action.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 9, 2021 at 7:54 AM

  5. Beautiful photograph! I wish there was more rain here! And generally more respect for the rights of others in the world!

    Alessandra Chaves

    June 9, 2021 at 8:03 AM

  6. We also had plenty of rain and all the creeks are roaring. 1/8 of a second is a fairly long exposure. You were able to hold the camera steady for such a long time. That is very impressive, Steve.

    Peter Klopp

    June 9, 2021 at 8:36 AM

    • Yes, especially the half-second exposure. At some point I’ll probably have to break down and start using a tripod. It’s good to hear you’ve got roaring creeks, too. I imagine that’s more common for you up there than for us down here.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 9, 2021 at 8:44 AM

  7. Dang – that waterfall is a real stunner! Excellent shots

    M.B. Henry

    June 9, 2021 at 4:19 PM

    • Thanks. I spent time there again this morning. The water flow has slowed since last week but I still got more pictures.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 9, 2021 at 5:38 PM

  8. Nice shots, Steve. I love waterfalls, their sound is so soothing.

    Eliza Waters

    June 9, 2021 at 5:46 PM

    • This one was pretty loud, what with all the water pouring over the cliff. From a distance it could have been soothing.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 9, 2021 at 6:40 PM

  9. Nice that you get to photograph waterfalls, even if for a short time. Ours run low during the summer. As you might guess, I like the upper shot for the longer exposure.

    Steve Gingold

    June 10, 2021 at 3:16 AM

    • Our waterfalls run low in the summer, too, and of course we have a longer and hotter summer than you do. That’s why after we’d had a fair amount of rain I headed over to this waterfall and found it full. When I went back yesterday the flow was noticeably reduced.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 10, 2021 at 5:32 AM

  10. Two fine photos (I like both!) and a smart thought for the day.


    June 13, 2021 at 8:48 PM

    • I’ve liked that quotation for a good half-century. I think I learned it when I lived in Honduras.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 13, 2021 at 9:31 PM

  11. […] two of the results here, each from a four-second exposure. Look how different these views are from the ones you saw last week; in particular, they’re more abstract and less […]

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