- It’s time for the 3rd season from the falls in Kagawong, Manitoulin Island, also known as Bridal Veil Falls. If you missed the other two, click here and here. The opening shot is taken in early June – well both are actually. Again this time, its has a snapshot look to it, but thought it was worth putting up here on the blog.
As I mentioned in my last post, I usually stop here for lunch when I go by on my way to Gore Bay. (A well-informed source has told me that the chip stand across the road from the falls should be pretty good. I’m gonna have to try that this year). Anyway, this shot is taken basically at noon. Not much sunlight down at the bottom, huh? But plenty at the top, on the bushes and the crest. It can be a bit tricky to get a good shot here when the sun is out, with out using bracketed exposures. The shot above is combined with 5 frames , and I was lucky that the couple under falls didn’t move much during my exposure. I left them in there to get a sense of scale. The shot is taken from the same vantage point as the two previous posts.
As you can see in the shot, the water that is going over the edge has slowed down a bit compared to the spring shots. At the end of the fall it gets even worse, as you will see in my last segment from this location on my next post.
The falls goes over the edge in two places. The main one of course, and then a smaller to the right of it. If you remember the winter shot from a couple of weeks ago, that’s why the crack in the ice fall occur But at this time of year, it’s just dripping from small one, and in the shade from the big trees there are some very saturated green colored moss which I couldn’t resist to shoot as well.
We had a “short” heat wave up here last week. Temperatures around the 5°C /40°F. That got things melting, but sure enough, it didn’t last long, so now we are left with some extremely dirty looking snow piles, black and brown from the salt, sand and exhaust. It’s not very pretty to look at. But of course being in Northern Ontario, we probably still have a snowstorm or two to deal with before it’s all said and done. Currently we are back below freezing but its going the right way. It is so nice to feel the heat from the sun as it gets higher in the sky.
Last week I posted a winter shot from Bridal Veil Falls. I thought I would keep going and post some pictures I took in the spring of 2011. They are not exactly fine art shots, but I thought they would tell a story of the spring thaw anyway. They are shot in May, and I’m sure by then the spring thaw has peaked, but it was still a cool to see the amount of water that’s going over that edge, especially when you compare that to a shot taken in late…which I’ll be posting next
weekend ehm.. time.
The opening shot is taken from one of two viewing platforms that over looks the falls. I think this particular one is the lower one. This time of year, I would not go any closer to the falls, because my equipment and I would get absolutely soaked. As you walk down the metal stairs towards the trail, that by the way goes from the falls to downtown Kagawong, you will feel the cold mist coming from the falls on your face. Standing at the bottom of the stairs on the trail looking back, right around that corner are the falls and a spring shower if you get to close… The mist is clearly visible, and even standing here, you can feel it. The trail is borderline muddy, the stairs are wet and slippery, so hang on to the rail and wear practical shoes if you go for a peak your self. And you should…
The Kagawong River or creek runs out in the big Lake Huron, and I found 4 shots in my library that was taken from the same spot right in sequence I put them together in PS and saved it as an animated gif. You may have to click on the image to view the animation. It kind of gives you an idea how this little river or creek really comes to life when spring arrives.
Thanks for stopping by.
Just about once a month, I have the pleasure to go to Manitoulin Island which by the way is the worlds biggest island in a freshwater body. My last stop there is Gore Bay, and to get there I drive right by the beautiful Bridal Veil Falls in Kagawong. It’s a very popular place and guaranteed visited by every single tourist and local that has ever been on this island.
The fall is about 2 hours from my office, and depending on the time, I usually pull over here for a quick lunch, and of course a peak at the falls. So by going there between 12-15 times a year, I get to observe the changes that happens there. The spring thaw, where it’s almost impossible to be at the foot of the falls because of the spray. During the summer where there almost no water is going over the edge. In the fall the salmon comes up-stream to spawn and die right in the pool at the bottom of the falls. That is the end of the
road river for them as there are no way of getting further up. And then of course winter where the 35′ tall fall freezes solid. It looks amazing, so i thought i would share a shot from that location. You are actually able to walk behind the falls through the opening on the right, and you will come out on the other side of the pool. Getting wet is a possibility because water is still running behind the ice build up.
On this trip, i did not bring my boots, so I did not venture down the stairs to the bottom of the falls. But the viewing platform was accessible, so this is what you’ll get this time.
Getting a decent lighting in this location is tough because the river runs north out into Lake Huron, so it’s not a sunrise or sunset location. On both sides are steep hills with tall trees, and to get any light down by the pool, you will have to wait until noon, which is not really a good time to shoot landscape. As always with fast flowing water, I prefer a cloudy day at this location to get a sense of moving water using slow shutter speeds.
To give a sense of size, I included the picture on the right, shot in mid March 2012. At this point the spring thaw was well under way, and the whole scene was not as pristine as you can see on the brownish colors of the snow and ice. Where I’m standing is right at the entrance to walk behind the falls as mentioned above.
Time to get close to the water. This is what I really like to shot. To take in the details in the rocks, the flow of the water, and the incredible colors you get this time of year. Often, you will see the colors of the trees reflect in the small rapids.
Where im standing while taking this shot and the shot in the next post, is actually under water during the spring thaw. It’s the very top part of the Onaping falls, or High Falls as some call it. You can see where the water level usually runs when the river is at its peak. As you probably have noticed if you have seen my pictures on this blog, I LOVE to get close in on the falls. I like this shot, but when i got home I realized that the top right corner is blown out. I could crop it out, but it makes the shot boring, so I left it in. I guess I need to get a split grad filter for next time.
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Of course I can’t stop going to the Onaping Falls when the trees are putting on a display. For some reason, the colors up there didn’t seem as vibrant and up front and center this year. I was probably too late. I decided to explore a bit upstream from the main trail, and the next few posts are from around the same area, but looking in different directions.
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I surprised my self, and got up early this morning in search for a picture at High Falls in Onaping. I think I got a few keepers that I will share in a later post. After the sun was getting higher in the sky, I decided to explore a bit above the falls. I found what looks to be a good sunset location so ill try to get back there later. On the way, I came across the image you see above, and i thought it was too good to pass up. High Falls is unfortunately littered with graffiti on the rocks because it’s so accessible, especially in the summer where the water levels are low. There are several marriage proposals, X loves Y, and Z was here. To be frank, I wish people would respect the falls beauty and stop painting on the rocks. That said, the graffiti on the rocks in the shot above stood out, so I had to shoot it.
This guy went all out and poured his feelings for his sweetheart out on the rocks, just above the falls. I’m not sure if its readable when it’s scaled down so here is the text letter for letter.
“So here it goes
I’ll try my Best
to explain to you
whats on my chest
I know I can LOVE
when I see the world in you
And your eyes everywhere in the world
Your important to ME in every way
I would tell you that Everyday
To me your the one
your my modivation
our potential to be together
feels as though it would last 4 ever
I want to be ur man
I can to assure u’ll
be a happy
It looks like he was running out of space at the end. That would make sense if he wrote this in the spring, where the water level would be just off the bottom of the frame.
Of course it’s not the most inspiring poem ever written, but he definitively put an effort into it. Who knows if his sweetheart read it and what happened after.
I found this shot while going through some shots from 2009. I thought it would be alright for a post here.
The shot is from Harris Creek, which is running under Hwy 17 East of Blind River, Ontario. It’s a nice little spot where it’s easy to get to the tiny falls.
First I would like to say thanks you so much for your nice comments, encouragement and support. It is truly appreciated.
Last round of my “post & run” week.
It’s from my favorite spot to go shoot in my area, and yup, it’s another fall shot from the beautiful High Falls in Onaping and there will
probably be more posts to come from this place.
It’s time for some more fall-fireworks from High Falls in Onaping, Ontario. Please feel free to click on the images for a larger 1200px view.
Above is from the trail that takes you along the falls and into the bush. If you walk far enough you will eventually end up on a look out that is over grown by now. Its called Sudbury Basin Lookout. Beautiful spot, but the sun was in the wrong place to get a usable shot from there.
One more from the trail. This shot was also posted on Google+
After walking in the bush for a couple of hours with a heavy backpack, I’m back at the falls dead tired and sweating like a ..well you know what I mean. I got there just in time for the late afternoon sun hitting the trees across the falls, which reflects these amazing green and golden colors along with the sky in the water. I could not pass this opportunity to grab a few shots of that. Absolutely gorgeous place.
Before I sign off, I want to say a huge Thank you for all your nice comments and tweets. Please know that they are all very much appreciated.
As mentioned in an earlier post, the weather has been outstanding up here lately. So there is no excuse, just get out there and shoot. I have explored the High Falls in Onaping, Ontario af few times now, and it changes every time I’m up there. The shots in this post are from the end of September, at the peak of the color show. I decided to put more than one shot up today, because I have a lot of shots from this place, and my blogging has been a bit on the slow side lately. It is nice to have some new ammo, so here we go.
Oh btw, if you are on a big monitor, feel free to click the images for a larger view.
The top shot is from the basin at the top of the falls. The incredible colors of the late afternoon sun on the trees and the sky paints the water. Amazing place to shot when it looks like this.
This shot is roughly half way down the falls. At this time of year the water flow in the falls are really low, so there are plenty of opportunity to get very close to the rocks and the falls. It’s a very different story in the spring…
The last big drop before the water slows down and continue its run down the Onaping River.
The fall colors has peaked up here and are starting to look a bit faded, some trees are bare and getting ready for next year.
Its Thanksgiving weekend and the weather the last week has been absolutely outstanding. Currently its 23°C outside which is pretty good for Northern Ontario in the month of October.
I went for a quick drive down the highway to Chutes Prov. Park to capture some tight shots of the falls there. The sun was out so it was perfect conditions to play with my new variable ND filter. (I still can’t believe I didn’t get around to buy one before now…) It is so cool to slow down the shutter speed and get the silky feeling of running water even in direct sunlight without the blinkies.
The shot above was a complete surprise when I looked on the LCD screen on the camera, it looked like gold was running down stream.
Nikon D300, Nikkor 70-300, 70 mm, f/22, 1/8 sec ISO200
To me, one of the coolest things in photographs are when there is a sense of movement, there is an energy or a power in the shot. Examples of that could be lightning, storm clouds, streaking cars or trains. Water does the trick for me. I love shooting running water and by playing around with long exposures you get some pretty neat effects. To me, a tag sharp image of water falling or running is less interesting than if there is a blur to the water. Water in rivers and creeks moves, sometimes fast, sometimes slowly usually depending on the time of year and to me that movement needs to be in a shot of, lets say, a waterfall. In order to get the sense of flowing water or that cool silky look, the shutter speed needs to be slowed down – way down.
Here are a few tips on how to achieve that look.
- Use a good solid tripod.
- Use a cable release or use the timer on the camera.
- Keep ISO low.
- Use aperture mode and choose a small aperture like f/16 or f/22
- Shoot at dawn or dusk, or on an over cast day.
- To cut even more light use a polarizer, which not only remove reflections and boost colors, but also eats at least one stop of light – slowing down the shutter speed even more..
- Or you can use a ND filter also called natural density filter. The will usually reduce the light between 1 and 10 stops depending on which one you buy.
- Your goal is to end up with a shutter speed at around 1/10 sec or slower. It depends on how fast the water moves of course, but generally at that shutter speed the magic starts to happen and you get that silky smooth feel of water running.
Try it out next time you are out shooting running water, it’s very rewarding. Btw, the shot above is from Moose Creek, Levack, Ontario.