Thoughts, adventures, projects, and photography by Shawn DeArmond

Luis Creek Cascade

July 23, 2006 - 6:04pm -- Shawn

Ah, is there anything more generic than a time-lapse photo of a cascading waterfall? Probably not, but I don't care; it's pretty. This particular cascading waterfall is an upper section of Luis Creek. A small creek that runs by ECCO, where my family and I spent last week. I took 572 photographs on my vacation so I'll post some more of them later on. These waterfalls cascade over this single chunk of granite and dig pools about five feet deep at each landing. Thanks to the late rains this year, Luis Creek was gushing and these waterfalls were particularly spectacular. It's usually not this full, so usually, we can swim in these pools.

The most important thing about taking a photograph like this is to decrease the camera's shutter speed. Play around with different speeds to see what works best for your subject. This one was taken at 1/8 second. You'll also need a tripod, of course, since there's no way anybody can hold the camera steady enough for such a long exposure. There's a problem that you'll see pretty soon when you try to take long exposures: too much light. I had to make my aperture as small as I could make it (f-27) or else the exposure would be totally washed out. I was also blessed with cloudy skies so the sunlight was diminished and I didn't get harsh shadows.

Another thing you need to consider when taking long exposures is other subjects in your frame, such as trees, grasses, and sometimes animals. Remember, this exposure is at least four times longer than normal so any other subject that you don't want blurred needs to hold perfectly still. If there's a lot of wind, tree limbs and bushes might be swaying around and get blurred too. Fortunately for me, that wasn't a problem this time.

Luis Creek Cascade