Spring Waterfalls in Western North Carolina

Western North Carolina is noted for its Waterfalls.

Cascade at Rt 215 by bridge
Cascade at Rt 215 by bridge

Transylvania County reports over 250 alone, due to the tremendous elevation shifts in these Appalachian Mountains.  Yesterday, after the early morning images just published, we continued to Rt 215 and headed back north. This cascade is right there by the bridge. Still working out the Sony a6000, I couldn’t resist this image and I am so impressed with how the boulders almost pop out of the page.

This was shot with the 16-50 lens set at 20mm, Aperture Priority set at f/25 with the shutter speed at 1/4 sec, pretty short for a cascade, indicating how fast the water is flowing. It’s like rocketing through those boulders. I’m always amazed that at some point a force sent these giants moving, at one time colliding with others and finally resting where they stand now.

Designing the image…

Attempting to assemble order out of  the chaos of nature we selected the three pools of water near the lower part of the frame, staying with the loose rule of using odd numbers of things. The waterfall near the top right is far enough away and sort of provides a balance. Think of a teeter totter we may have used in play as a kid, where a heavy item is balanced with a smaller item further away.

While attempting to keep things falling, as in falling water, and yet use graphics to form order, the three pools of water form a long narrow triangle with the edges of the frame, using our liberal imagination. Some of the rock edges also make visual triangles. Perhaps we please the eye, somewhat, while retaining the bold, hard, wild form of the thing happening before us. If we can hear the roar of water, we may have achieved communication. The story.

A Historical Wonder…

Reportedly, these mountains are amongst the oldest geological formations on earth. The highest at only around 6,000 ft, they’re not as majestic as the Alps, Rockies or the giants climbing over 10,000 feet, but at one time were part of the mountain chain connected to Scotland.

What Equipment…

So, here is where we decide which tools we need to do our work (Read PLAY, but let’s keep it just between you and me.)

We know that we have to find a way to slow the shutter speed enough for water to pass in front of the lens to blur. Manual controls adjustments. If we can’t get to 1 second or 3 seconds of shutter opening with our lens, we may have to slow the amount of light that passes through to the film or sensor. We can do that with a dark filter or “Neutral Density” filter. One time I used my sunglasses held over the lens of a compact camera. A polarizer might do it. It usually cuts down 1-2 stops of light as well as cutting down glare on rocks. But in some way, we have to make that shutter stay open longer.

We know that we probably can’t hand-hold the camera steady enough, or we may have a blurry image. A tripod serves that need.

Essentially, if it looks right, it probably is. I used to have to rely on it looking right, then over the years, I found out why. Trust your intuition. Let us know if you would like to receive our newsletter. E-mail bobgry@aol.com.

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Bob says… Thanks
Bob says… Thanks


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