Clark’s Gully

globby.jpgJust a few pics from a walk I took the other day up Clark’s gully. It was a beautiful sunny spring day – clear skies with the  temperature in the upper 40s.

Recent rains and warm weather had melted just about all the snow cover. I found a few spots in the deeper darker parts of the gully where some snow still stubbornly clung to the walls. The water in the main stream was running high and fast. It was being fed extra life from lots of seasonal cascades pouring down the cliff sides.

Bright RockThe rule of thumb for photographing waterfalls is to pick an overcast day or go when the sun is low and the water is in shade. You can minimize the exposure latitude this way and it lets you use long exposures so the water gets that nice smooth flowing texture. Today, however, I was looking for sunshine and lots of it.

With the water running so fast, too slow of a shutter speed would blur the water so much that it would lose all detail and look like a white blob. It gets worse the closer you are to the water. I also wanted something a little different. I’m tired of calm gently flowing evenly lit waterfalls. I wanted to try and capture the bright vibrant turbulent splashing of the water gushing down the gorge with its course strewn with rocks and logs and twigs gleaming in the young spring sunshine.

Its tricky though. The foaming water is very bright with the sun on it, but the rocks are dark and shadows under them darker still.

Log FallI was glad to be using a digital camera. I was able to play with different shutter speeds by adjusting the ISO. With a film camera I would have been stuck with one or maybe two speeds of film. The digital let me take one shot at ISO 100 and the very next at 640 or 1200. I was able to play with the amount of blur in the water this way.

I only wish I could have gone below 100 sometimes. Even with the bright light and fast water, sometimes I wanted to try longer exposures than I could get at 100. My polarizing filter helped cut down on the bright light and allow for longer times, but sometimes it wasn’t enough. I guess I better invest in a neutral density filter.



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