I grew up on Vancouver Island. It is a gorgeous part of the world, especially in summer time.
There are lots of special places on the island, but there are certain places I return to again and again for their beauty and tranquility. Places I enjoy every single time. One of those places is Englishman River Falls.
I can’t even count how many times I have been here. Dozens. I remember photographing here only once before, and it was with my first SLR camera, a Canon AE1 and a ridiculously heavy tripod. That was over 20 years ago. I don’t know what ever happened to those photos, perhaps I never developed them, but I suspect that the memory of the heavy tripod is why I never returned with a camera until this year!
So for all intents and purposes, these are my first photos from one of my favourite places on the island.
Englishman River Falls is easily accessible. You can drive right up to the top of the falls where there is a nice picnic area. From there, maintained trails with switchbacks and bridges lead you from the upper falls to the lower falls and back again with plenty of opportunities for photography.
I made all of these photos with my new Sony NEX6 and nothing more than a tripod. No polarizing or ND filters. Just simple long exposures made on an overcast day.
If you are interested in waterfall photography, I wrote a tutorial on Digital Photography School you might like: Beginner’s Guide to Waterfall Photography.
I discovered in the comments on that tutorial and on various social media networks that a lot of people don’t like the silky effect that long exposures give to waterfalls! Apparently they are cliche and some people don’t understand why anyone likes them at all.
I guess everyone sees things differently, but to me, this is what I see. Waterfalls flow. When I see a fast exposure that freezes the water, it doesn’t seem natural because it’s impossible to actually see it that way.
Of course, I’m not one to say that photographs have to be natural or even demonstrate what the eye sees. That’s what photojournalism is for. This is art and as an artist, you are free to do whatever you want.
So that’s why I like long exposures for waterfalls. Because that’s what I like. 🙂
No other reason is required.