And with the rains the waterfalls become alive. It was only inevitable that with all the rain that we’ve been getting in Maryland this year that I’d be chasing waterfalls.
After my glorious outing at the Patuxent Research Refuge for autumn in the forest and lakes, I waited for a brief time between rain bands to go to my next favorite park – Patapsco Valley State Park.
Slowly driving in along the Patapsco River, it was fuller than I had ever seen it before. The park was empty as all other visitors had stayed away from the rain. All of the little trickles of streams that feed into the river were now full streams strewn with fallen autumn leaves and the green moss brilliantly wet.
Many photographers search out for that golden light which is found in the first hours of the morning with Sunrise and the last hours of the day with Sunset. Myself, I search out for overcast days that lead to even steady light which is perfect for slow exposures.
No hot spots in the waterfall, no fancy Neutral Density Filters and calculations for exposures. But instead a high quality Circular Polarizer, a nice depth of field with a high f-stop and a quality image with low ISO.
The road I traveled lead to the parking area at the Swinging Bridge and the trail head for Cascade falls. But the truly special spots were along that road with the little streams that were now filled with life and babbling along the way. Parking on the road, which surely one can never do on a regular day as parking isn’t allowed I used my tripod and wide-angle lens with the Singh-Ray Lighter Brighter Color Combo Circular Polarizer Filter and created some wonderful waterfall scenes.
Sometimes the best images are the ones of places no-one takes pictures of. We can all have lots of images of the same famous thing but it doesn’t make it distinct. Take the road less traveled and you’ll find something unique that no one else has.
I made sure I wore knee high tall rain boots so that I could carefully step into the streams. With caution I walked along the slippery muddy forest floor and the quick moving water to make sure all was safe.
Cascade Falls was raging like I’ve never seen before. With the falls to myself I appreciated how the water had taken over the area where one usually gets to sit and dabble their feet in the water. Boulders covered, trails disappeared. It was a new place.
When creating compositions I look for a foreground element to help create dimension within the image and to have the viewer’s eye travel through the frame. Somehow when doing this it makes Cascade Falls seem small but it certainly isn’t.
It was a wonderful outing and I had timed it perfectly as when I began returning to the car the drops began to fall once more.