Tripods dont float

26th March 2010
We have had two nights of rain here in Westport and the forecast for today was grey cloud. I decided this would be ideal for waterfalls, so this morning I set out with my friend Carol to photograph some waterfalls near Tourmakeady. As we drove towards our destination the sky began to clear and the sun began to shine. To photograph waterfalls successfully it is best to go after heavy rain so there is plenty of water, but you really don’t want the sun shining as the contrast levels are often too great especially with digital.
Having arrived at our location where I knew there were a number of small waterfalls I wandered downstream for a look and discovered what was for me a new waterfall, a really nice one and so with a sense of great discovery we decided to try some pictures. Carol began by placing her tripod on the river bank and could only watch in horror as it toppled into the river! Fortunately it was easily rescued and her camera was not yet on top of it! Well the sun continued to shine and while we were in a really lovely spot the contrast levels were just too high.

This first photo shows the top half of the waterfall as you can see the contrast between the shadow areas and the white water is very high.

In an attempt to make a photograph without the contrast I selected a small part of the waterfall that the sun was not reaching.

A lot of a photographer’s time is spent location finding, and even though I did not get the pictures I wanted today I have definitely found a good location and will revisit on an overcast day. By the time we got back to Westport the cloud cover had returned.

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