Waterfall

Death’s Spectrum

Death's Spectrum

I love photo trips that produce a number of quality images and this trip to Escalante Grand Staircase was quite fruitful. Willie and I explored a number of slot canyons, played amongst gigantic hoodoo rock sculptures, and practically repelled into gorgeous red rock river canyons.

We found this pool of water whilst walking through Coyote Gulch Canyon. 300 foot red rock walls surrounded us as we walked through the river in search of waterfalls and autumn color. Shortly after photographing a stunning waterfall we came upon this pool of water with decaying leaves in it.

As the leaves die they leak oils into the water. Light reflects and refracts off the oils, causing the wavelength of light to change and giving this puddle the multi-colored spectrum you see here. I walked around until the yellow leaves from the tree above were reflected in the puddle. From a different angle the entire pool looked blue but I loved how the yellow water matched the yellow leaves.

Nikon D800 w/Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED AF-S:
70mm (then cropped), f/9, 1/160 sec, ISO 400

Bluer Falls

Bluer Falls

Brarfoss (pronounced Broo-ar-foss, slightly roll the first r) might be one of the most photographed waterfalls in Iceland and its easy to see why: it has multiple cascades of little waterfalls that pour into one larger stream as they make their way down several shelves. Throw in the amazingly blue water and youve got a magical scene.

There was a slight drizzle as we pulled into the residential area outside Brarfoss. Its a little tricky to find your way to this waterfall but Sarah and Rons book Forever Light gave the perfect directions (follow them Some friends didnt and got very lost). Sammi was getting ansy to go to the next place and was waterfalld out by the end of our trip so I had just enough time to grab a few shots from the bridge and then run off. With some more time I would have gone down closer to the ledges and taken a few more shots from some more unique angles.

I still cant get over how blue and amazing the water is here

Nikon D800 w/Nikkor 80-200mm:
92mm, f/18, 0.4 sec, ISO 100

Drought's Amnesia

Drought's Amnesia

We may be in the middle of a serious drought in the West Coast (California specifically) but you never would have known that while visiting Oregons Columbia River Gorge. Filled with stunning waterfalls, luscious vegetation, ferns, flowing creeks, and beautiful views, the Columbia River Gorge is a popular spring destination. Throw in the fact that some of the best beer in the country is brewed here and youve got an ultimate weekend get-away

Andy and I spent a long weekend visiting waterfalls and drinking beer. Wed wake up early, hike to a gorgeous waterfall, take photos, spend the rest of the afternoon at a few breweries, then head back to another waterfall for sunset. Theres so many waterfalls that its quite difficult to choose which ones to visit

Fairy Falls was one of the first that we visited and might be my favorite partially because its one of the easier waterfalls to photograph but also because of its amazing fan-like shape with green ferns growing all around it.

Nikon D800 w/Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED AF-S:
24mm, f/10, 0.5 sec, ISO 100

Serenity

Serenity

After 7 straight days of being wet I cant even begin to describe how great a feeling it was to arrive at Godafoss and to be dry. Even getting this close to the waterfall didnt get me wet like many of the other falls I visited in Iceland. The rain had finally stopped earlier in the evening when Andy exclaimed Im going to Godafoss while its dry who wants to come I think we left our campsite sometime around 11pm and spent almost 2 hours at the waterfall.

Iceland doesnt believe in installing railings like we do in the United States. Perhaps they just dont care if people die, or because theres no railings, people arent as dumb. Perhaps people in the US just really are more dumb Theres nothing preventing you from going right to the edge of the waterfall, as you can see in the upper left and most of us did exactly that I decided, however, that I would stay below the falls and shoot it from down below. I loved the way that Godafoss curves around in a bowl shape.

Nikon D800 w/Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8 ED-IF AF-S:
17mm, f/14, 30 sec, ISO 100

Purchase at Aaron M Photography

Witches Brew

Witches Brew

I spent almost 2 weeks in Iceland with 6 friends: 5 of whom were not photographers. This meant that rather than following the weather, like I would have preferred, we followed our itinerary instead. Mama Nature had the perfect chance to attach a rope between our RV and the rain clouds and boy did she take advantage. It wasnt until 9 days into our trip that I finally saw the sun. The first 8 days were filled with rain, fog, more rain, more fog, and grey grey sky. Fortunately the last 2 nights ended quite spectacularly.

Theres a few places in Iceland that photographers love and Kirkjufell Mountain is one of them. Of course it was high on my list of places to visit and we saved it for almost last. We arrived at Grundarfjrur, the town next to the mountain, parked the RV in their marina and made dinner. Dinner seemed to last for hours. Every few minutes I would get up, look at where the sun is, and say guys, can we hurry up Of course the non-photographers responded with relax, itll be fine

Finally I jumped into the drivers seat, told everyone to hold on, and drove us over to the spot. Surprisingly, this view is right off the road (you can, in fact, see the road at the bottom of the mountain) and offers countless compositions. As we arrived though, the clouds started to thin out and it forced our compositions to move to the left, towards the 3-pronged waterfall and the bridge. Fortunately the sky lit up beautifully long enough for us to snap a few photos. About 20 minutes after this photo was taken, a marine layer moved in, the clouds disappeared, and the beautiful sunset was gone. Thanks, Mama Nature, for a yummy bit of dessert

I loved the way the mountain looks like a witches hat while the waterfall and river brew below it.

Nikon D800 w/Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8 ED-IF AF-S:
17mm, f/9, 1/6 sec, ISO 100

Purchase at Aaron M Photography

Reynolds Milk

Reynolds Milk

Willie, Alan, and I spent a week at Glacier National Park back in August and the trip was everything but what we expected. This particular night was about the only night that went as we intended. The weather forecast seemed great before we arrived but we witnessed poor conditions after poor conditions. For 2 days we couldn’t even see our feet the fog was so thick. On our first night the clouds stayed away and we did the one thing we planned on: getting some Milky Way shots from Logan Pass.

I had seen this waterfall earlier in the evening and photographed it as the last light hit Mt. Reynolds, disappeared, the stars came out, and eventually the Milky Way moved into position. I knew that Milky Way would eventually move parallel to the right edge of Mt. Reynolds but I didn’t realize how long it would take. It wasn’t until around midnight that it got dark enough and the Milky Way moved far enough to the right.

I used a 4 image focus stack to make sure the entire scene came out in focus. As you’ll notice the sky doesn’t entirely look as sharp as it could. I rented the lens from BorrowLenses and it quickly became clear that this particular copy of the lens had some serious coma flare issues. I did my best to get rid of some of it but eventually removing it became tedious and I gave up. BorrowLenses customer service was awesome and I was given a coupon for the price of the rental to use another time!

Nikon D800 w/Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G ED:
Sky: 24mm, f/1.6, 13 seconds, ISO 3200
Foreground: 4 images, 24mm, f/10, ISO 100

Purchase at Aaron M Photography