I have to confess to being a bit of a waterfall geek, I just love the way water flows over a waterfall, majestic and at the same time powerful as it heads towards the ground and then flows on into a stream or a river. What I like most about waterfalls is finding one’s that have not been photographed to many times or at all. Don’t get me wrong I do like photographing popular well know waterfalls as everybody interprets the waterfall in their own way, but finding one’s that have not been photographed or I haven’t seen any images of really excites me. So here I was doing what I like to do when not shooting for clients, is wander around places and see if I can find a waterfall sometimes off the beaten track and sometimes not so much. The trick is to look around you when out walking as it is easy to just walk looking in front and not surveying or taking in the natural beauty around you when out. And as such this is how I came to spot this small waterfall, by looking around and as luck would have it I spotted it of in the distance on the far side of the beck in Hamsterley Forest, it would have been easy to miss if I had not been looking around as a few more steps and I would have been past it and out of my sight line. So I head over to the other side and trek through the trees looking and thinking I am sure it was just around here and starting to doubt myself, but I carry on and eventually set back I come across the waterfall, full of excitement to have found it I set up my tripod and camera and get ready to shoot a couple of test images. What I notice is a branch that has flowed down over the fall and is stuck sticking up out of the water, I thought I would remove the branch from the waterfall by grabbing a long fallen branch and hooking it over this one that sticks out and dislodge it. Oh for not a really well thought out plan as I put my foot on a rock that is of course slippy I feel myself falling and falling I did getting soaked down one side, but on the plus side I did remove the offending object. Yes I could have removed the branch in Photoshop but where would be the fun in that, there is nothing like getting wet on a cold early morning to add to the fun of capturing something great. So here are a couple of shots from the that morning.
Yes it’s been snowing how could we not notice, as they called it the beast from the east, so driving up into the dales was a no go as a lot of the roads were blocked. And I would probably spend more time sitting in the car going nowhere than I would travelling. So challenged myself to just explore around my door step, and see what I could come up with image wise that really appealed to me and was not just taken for the sake of taking images. (Not that I ever just shoot for the sake of taking a image) An image when I am shooting for myself has to have substance to it telling some sort of story or have some visual impact that people can connect to, in some way.
f my wanders around the forest, I had walked this path many a time and just happened to glance to my right this one time to see this small amount of water cascading over the edge, so decided I would come back when the conditions were right for capturing it. Thing with waterfalls is they are either a small trickle due to lack of water or a massive torrent due to heavy amounts of rain. So I have been watching how much rain we have been having lately, so it rained last night again so I thought there would be a good chance that it would be flowing nicely, not a torrent but a nice steady flow that would make for a good composition and a pleasing image, and I was not disappointed. I visited another waterfall in the forest that is quite well hidden which I have photographed before which was only a small trickle last time and this was flowing nicely as well. Only down side was I found out I had a split in my Muck Boots Wellies so ended up with a very wet foot, but a small price to pay for getting the image.
It was Autumn the trees sing in all colors, and a perfect time to get a good image of High Force waterfall, from above as we had been having quite a bit of rain so I knew the thunderous High Force would be exploding over the top making for a magnificent view. So an early start was required to get there before the sun became to high and and effected the light. It is not a long walk but it can be a difficult walk when you have medical conditions so I always allow extra time for more stops on the route to rest. But I have to say it was worth the walk, as when i viewed High Force from above all the fatigue and tiredness disappeared and was replaced by excitement at the wonderous autumn colors and and the power of the water coming over the fall.
I was also inspired by Light, a new camera technology that just hit the market and their #VantagePoint project.
So the NDH Hamsterley Forest TT was on, last Sunday I like my Sigma camera as the images I can get with it are excellent but I do find the weight off it can become very hard on my arms after a while especially with being a Magnesium Alloy body coupled with a good lens the weight can became, well heavy, we have been buying our youngest son the entry level Nikon D3200, with the standard kit lens for his school projects and that fact he is interested in photography as well, so I decided to test the camera with the standard lens out at the mountain bike TT , and I was surprised how well it performed and the quality of the images it produced with the standard kits lens these are just a few of the images I took with the Nikon D3200.
Nikon D3200 Lens 18 – 55, F3.5 – 5.6.
Having torn a muscle in my shoulder after slipping on rocks when out with the DSLR, things became a little difficult mainly holding my camera and carrying my camera bag getting it on and off was a bit painful to say the least. So the Walking Talking Group run from Chatterbox Cafe in St Johns Chapel, was starting up again. I enjoyed going last time it was on and it is a good way of discovering little used public footpaths for getting new images, so how could I go and take photos as carrying the big camera was out for a time so in comes the Nikon Coolpix 12 pixels compact camera. It felt quite strange carrying a small compact in my pocket and not a big camera bag and tripod you sort of get used to carrying the big camera and setting up using filters to graduate a sky checking your settings manually focusing looking through the view finder. Not with the compact point and shoot or is it, when you explore the functions of the point and shoot they are not as basic as you think with all there different modes from scene to landscape to macro, or close up, and many more. Different resolutions and one I found invaluable exposure compensation which is good for bright days which we had quite a few on our walks, I have to say I am impressed with the quality of the images from such a small camera, the only thing I found a problem was the focusing sometimes it could hunt a few times and the image was not always sharp where with the big camera I could manual focus, but that is the difference between several hundred pounds and not. So my shoulder is better now so will be going back to my DSLR, but the compact will travel with me as well as it can be a handy tool for catching those quick shots in a way I feel it has helped me get a fresh look on my photography as I had got so used to being able to set everything myself and have total control where with the compact you have certain control over certain things but sometimes you have to think a little more creativly.
So these are one or two image taken with the compact, and then worked on in Photoshop for the B&W and the colour images I adjusted which is no different to what I would do with My DSLR the only difference I would shoot in RAW with my DSLR.
The day was grey as the fine drops of misty rain fell, finding some shelter down by Blackling Hole Waterfall in Hamsterley Forest as the roar of the water comes crashing over the top to foam and and dance at the bottom before flowing away down stream gentle and calm.
Out looking for autumn colours but unfortunately they are not out in their full range of colours yet, some places showing a beautiful array of colour but others still hanging onto the greens of summer very reluctant to let the colour green fade and turn into the beautiful autumn colours that we enjoy at this time of year. So here is an image of Harthope Burn, in St Johns Chapel taken the other day when out looking for the colours of autumn as the water runs fast after a night of rain and the autumn colours elude me. For Know.