In between wiping my lens free of water droplets and trying not to slip into the water I managed to capture these waterfalls in a few different ways.
As I started early preparation for this year’s Christmas fair, I began to think about what I could capture for it - it is no secret that Yorkshire is home to some rather magnificent landscapes so I thought what better to photograph in the run up to the fair than the beauty of Yorkshire! At last year’s fairs I had a couple of shots of Aysgarth Falls in the Yorkshire Dales that seemed popular, so I thought what a great place to start – waterfalls.
It was pretty spectacular! (not Aysgarth!)
Waterfalls, whatever their size, are amazing, truly one of Nature’s wonders, but the bigger they are, often the more impressive they are. I started out at Hardraw Force, England’s largest single drop waterfall at a massive 100ft, and with the recent rain, I was hoping that I would be in for a treat… and I wasn’t disappointed. As you walk along the stream, you can hear the force of the waterfall well before you can see it. As I was walking towards the waterfall I was getting extremely excited - it sounded like there was a lot of water and as I came around the corner the anticipation built and built and finally the waterfall came into view.
Black and white works so well with long exposures!
This was the first time I have visited this waterfall, so initially I had nothing to compare the amount of water to (until now, a swift google reassured me that this was a lot of water for this fall). I was blown away by the force of the water as it smashed onto the rocks beneath, and my mind was running wild with ideas of how I could capture this beauty.
As I neared the waterfall, it dawned on me that it may not be as easy as I had originally thought, or more accurately, hoped - due to the sheer amount of water being thrown over the waterfall every second, there was a considerable amount of spray coming from the plunge pool below, leaving countless water droplets on my lens the second it was exposed.
The force of the water was crazy
It was clear that there would be many, many photographic opportunities here. Firstly I clambered down the rocks to a little plateau where I could shoot up the stream towards the waterfall to give the shot some depth.
For this trip, I had already thought of some shots that I wanted to get, and to get these I brought my nifty variable density filter. Basically, all this is, is a bit of glass you can attach onto the front of your lens which you can then darken, allowing slower shutter speeds adding a smooth silky effect to the flow of water.
After changing composition a few times, and managing to capture some images that I was pretty happy with, I decided to see in what other ways I could capture this magnificent waterfall. All I had to do was utilise the little bit of zoom that the lens I was using allowed, and I was able to capture more intimate shots of the waterfall, and by underexposing the image, I was able to create some interesting, fine art shots.
On the way home, it was time for a little stop at Aysgarth Falls, some of Yorkshire’s most iconic waterfalls. These falls also had A LOT of water, giving the falls this brownish tinge. I had visited these falls last year, but this year there was a lot more water. After having taken some shots using my filter, I took it off and decided to get the same shot without the silky look, just to show you what it looked like in real time, I would love to know which one you prefer.
Aysgarth Falls must have been photographed millions of times - you don’t have to walk far to see someone pointing a camera at these beautiful multi-step waterfalls. Naturally I wanted to capture something a bit different and to do this I used the filter, but not on the waterfall itself, but the running water above the waterfall and I am pretty happy with the results, you can’t really tell what they are and I think that is part of the reason as to why I like them so much.
I am going to have a few of these shots for sale at the fair(s) I attend this year, but if you want to put an order in for any in preparation for Christmas, just drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org! For now... enjoy some non-waterfall shots I got that day.
Thanks for reading,