There are many waterfalls in Southern Ontario and a lot of them are in the Hamilton area. This one in particular is one of my favourites. This is Webster’s Falls. Located in Dundas, Ontario, it is one of the largest waterfalls in the region with a drop if approx. 22 metres.
Getting down to the base of the falls is a combination of inlaid stone steps and steel steps. Once you’re at the bottom, it a matter of carefully navigating your way through either dirt/mud or along the wet rocks to find a good position to shoot.
For the image above, I was able to find a good vantage point without getting too wet from the spray (close but not too close). I found a solid place to set up my tripod. The great thing about tripods with extendable/adjustable legs and a good ball head is that you don’t need a totally flat surface to set up (believe me, there was nothing flat where I was standing).
I shot this with a Canon Rebel XT with a 17-85mm at 17mm, f10 @ 1.6 seconds using a 2 stop neutral density filter. I wanted to use a slower shutter speed to get that silky feeling in the water. I was still learning a lot about photography back then. I realize looking back that I might have been able to get away with stopping down to f22 and still have achieved 1.5 seconds or longer on the shutter. Oh well, live and learn. But I really loved how this turned out. This is still one of my all time favourite images.
For the next image, I left my tripod in the same spot and just rotated the camera to my right to capture some of water flowing out of the base of the falls. (Canon Rebel XT with a 17-85mm at 17mm, f14 @ 2 seconds using a 2 stop neutral density filter).
One of the many tips I picked up early is after you have shot your target subject, always turn around and look behind you. Essentially, get to your location, find your subject, set-up and take the shot. After you have your shot, and before you walk away, turn your camera around and look behind you, or beside you or just in a different direction than your initial target subject. You might be surprised what you see. I can tell you from experience, I have gotten some better photos from doing this spontaneously than from planning my initial target subject.
The image below is one of those times. After shooting the waterfall, I turned around and had a look behind me. I liked what I saw so I moved around a little to try and get the composition I wanted. It was quite a dreary day so I processed this image in kind of a split tone black and white to change the mood a little. (Canon Rebel XT with a 17-85mm at 41mm, f10 @ 1.3 seconds using a 2 stop neutral density filter).