Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Canon EOS Rebel XS, Promaster 19-35 lens @ 19mm, ISO 100, f/14, 0.6 seconds
  I can't count how many times I have been to Bald River Falls or the number of photographs that I have taken here. It is probably the most recognizable geographic feature of Monroe County and the Cherokee National Forest. At 90 feet tall and a constant, heavy flow of water, it is as picturesque a waterfall as there is in the Eastern US.
  The trouble with Bald River Falls is finding an angle that nobody has shot from. Back in July of last year I got what I think was a unique picture in my blog post ROCKIN' THE FALLS. Other than my buddy Tim Owen's shot from just to the left of where I was, I have never seen a shot of the falls from that angle.
  Last Saturday, my daughter Jocy and I found ourselves right back there and it was one of the few times I have been there in the early evening around 4:30. There was a lot of bright sunshine which usually doesn't lend itself to the longer shutter speeds that are necessary to get that silky look to the water.
  I solved this by climbing under the bridge that passes right in front of the falls and setting up in the shade and also using a foreground element, a large rock, that was in the shade. By metering and focusing on the rock I achieved the exposure I wanted but had to deal with the contrasting range of light from the shaded foreground to the extremely bright background.  HDR to the rescue!
  Knowing that Photomatix Essentials could process this and get the dynamic range I wanted, I bracketed all my shots at -/+2 EV.  Between adjusting in Essentials and Photoshop Elements, I had the natural look I was after with the entire image exposed from front to back.
  Think I may have made my favorite Bald River Falls image.


  1. This turned out great Jerry! Looks like spring is finally making its way into the Smokies!