Last weekend, I made two trips up to the Cascades in Pembroke Virginia. The first trip up was with my wife, and since it was on a Sunday, we opted to skip the main falls and go straight up to the upper falls. I piddled around a little bit while we relaxed in the shade(no crowds at the upper falls, just fyi)
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Here is a photo of my wife on the Nature Conservancy Trail, which is the trail that takes you from the main Cascades trail up to the upper falls, and even further up to Barneys Wall.
Once we got to the falls, really bright sunlight limited the stuff I could do without a tripod, but I always try!
As we were walking up and down the trail, we kept admiring the color of Little Stony Creek. Vibrant blues and greens really make for nice addition to a river scene. I opted to make another trip up to the falls the following day, and shoot the creek on the hike down.
This was a REALLY early trip! It is getting harder and harder to make somewhat long trips before sunrise now that the sunrises are earlier and earlier. The cascades during the early morning hours of Monday morning can be a really serene place, unlike the packed house of Sunday afternoon. You've probably seen a bunch of photos like this, and for good reason! The trail rocks really frame the falls well.
I spent just a little time at the falls. I don't currently have a superwide lens, which can be really limiting in situations like this. When shooting my full frame canon and a 17mm lens, I could walk right up to the falls and have the whole thing fit. Now, my Pentax with a 17mm lens BARELY lets me have a foreground with any of the falls or otherwise... I hate to admit it, but my Pentax experiment is nearing its end. The lack of a quality superwide is just making too hard for this nature photographer to deal!
There is a BUNCH of water up here. Any time you see the water from the top of the falls almost clear the bottom you are seeing it at 'higher flow than normal'. Lots of little streams that run into the Little Stony flow over the trail.
As I headed back down, I shot a few more photos from near the same spot as before.
I crawled up to the rocks on the left of the above photo and tried a few different compositions. This is another spot where being limited by focal length really hindered my ability to capture what I wanted.
Just a little ways down the trail, you pass this small waterfall. There is always water flowing here, just a lot right now!
Just below this spot are some REALLY nice rocks with some great cascades! Over the next several photos, you can really see my progression as I worked my way downstream. The rocks here are so AWESOME!
As the sun got higher and higher, and me working my way downstream meant the cascades were smaller and smaller, I started to take fewer and fewer photos. I really did like how the light was coming on this scene with the steps of the trail.
While this last photo surely isn't incredibly by any stretch, there is something kind of neat about it. The Pentax system(and I'm sure many others) have an in-camera multiple exposure setting. This allowed my to take 3 images of the flowing water, and have the camera automatically blend the images based on a certain setting that I choose, and then produce an editable RAW file. It's pretty cool!