Berry Creek Falls

March 01 - 2009 

There are always these wonderful chance occurrences in photography. Often they will produce a great picture if I can retain my composure and make the exposure or in this case exposures.

I rode my photo bike down the trail to the falls for all of the 9.8 miles at a sedate pace. It was a nice trail that wound through the coastal redwood forest starting at Big Basin Beach.

I walked the last 1/4 miles to the falls where there was a small knot of folks commenting on how little water there was this year. I climbed down into the ravine and started observing the falls, found a camera position, set up and made a test exposure.

It was obvious just from looking that the scene had an extreme contrast range. The ravine exposure was 1s at f22 and the top daylight exposure was 1/15 at f22 with a circular polarizer.

As I had already determined the ravine exposure empirically I had that part of the equation and I knew the daylight exposure based on the basic daylight exposure rule.

I was able to produce the requisite set of exposures for a HDR image quickly when I looked up to see this ray of light punch through the scene. The effect lasted for only a few minutes, based on the date stamps on my photos it was 3 minutes of sunny goodness during which I made several sets of exposures.

Sometimes you just get there on time and get the shot, usually if you miss it you just never know what you missed.

This is a 10 megapixel image from a Nikon D200.

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15x10"

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Berry Creek Falls - Photographs by Cooksey-Talbott. licensed under a Creative Commons, Attribution, NonCommercial, NoDerivatives, 3.0, Unported License.

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