Depth of Real Photography | Twin Falls

Twin Falls

August 03, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

My coworkers and I ended up visiting this place twice.  On the first visit, we had stopped by Snoqualmie Falls before making our way to Twin Falls.  After running into some other trail goers and finding out how much further it was to reach the falls, we decided to save the trek for another day since it was approaching nightfall.  Instead, we explored the river, bounding from rock to slippery rock - injury-free!

It was just a couple days later when we revisited.  We quickly made our way through the first path we traveled, then we made it to the "moderate" part of the hike.  Paths were becoming narrow with steep drop-offs.  Although we were steadily climbing, certain areas would take us down significant slopes, which then, of course, would seemingly ramp back up at a higher grade.  This repeated several times, but the gargantuan fir trees provided some spectacular views, especially with the golden beams of light peering through.

We had come across a photographer making his way out of the lower falls, and I was asking him if he was able to find some good vantage points and take long exposures.  He said he was able to get 30 second exposures, but with a nine-stop neutral density filter.  That was still encouraging even though I only had a 3-stop ND filter.  After what seemed like an endless rollercoaster of trails, we finallly made it to the bridge that crossed a little bit upstream from the crest of the lower falls, and provided a picturesque view of the much smaller upper falls.  I just stood and watched the water for a bit - simply breathtaking.

Upper Falls

A few moments later I quickly set up my tripod as sundown was just around the corner.  I put both my circular polarizer and ND filters on, composed a shot, and released the shutter...about six seconds later, I previewed the shot only to see either bad focus or motion blur.  I know my tripod has seen better days, but then I realized I felt the bridge swaying with the people walking across it.  I patiently waited until it was just me on the bridge.  I experimented with shots as short as two seconds and as long as fifteen seconds.  I metered off the water, switched to aperture priority, set my ISO to 100, and knocked down water reflections with the polarizer.  From there, I tweaked my shutter and aperture in manual mode.  In the end, I opted for exposures around two seconds.  As fast as these waters were moving, I didn't need that much time to smooth it out.  I might have to revisit and seek out other vantage points!

Down the Lower Falls


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