Quick Shot: Elakala Falls

About a month ago I took a trip to Blackwater Falls State Park in West Virginia with the goal of photographing waterfalls and getting some abstract shots of moving water. I've posted some photographs of Elakala Falls (Colorfall #1 and Colorfall #2), but those shots haven't given you a full appreciation for the falls. 

There isn't a trail to the base of this falls; in fact there is a bridge immediately over the falls. After climbing down the side of a mountain to get this position, I had to make sure my composition didn't include the distracting bridge, but still got the entire falls, which was a bigger challenge than it might have seemed.

I wanted a slow shutter speed so that I could capture the soft movement of the water and would recreate, at least to some extent, the bright colors I captured with the close-up "Colorfall" series. To get a shutter speed of 8 seconds, I used a solid neutral density filter and dropped my ISO to 100. I also used an aperture of f/22 to ensure a nice depth of field that would afford me the slow shutter speed.

The final image has minor editing to remove dust spots and some minor tweaks, but the colors are almost exactly as I saw them. The overcast sky and slow drizzle of rain helped make the green foliage more vibrant and muddy water gives the river the rainbow of colors seen here. 

Shot with the Nikon D800 and Nikon 24-70mm lens. A Gitzo tripod was used to get the shot perfectly sharp.