It’s quite a while since I last saw a waterfall close-up, and even longer since I thought of capturing an image of one.

Yesterday we returned to Hever Castle. It was a beautiful spring day: pleasantly warm. In fact Spring is galloping through, due to unseasonably warm weather. Bluebells are already coming out and other aspects of Spring are weeks ahead of schedule.

Talk of photographing Waterfalls usually prompts thoughts of the necessity for a tripod. Not so. I never carry one. Some country gardens actually won’t allow them. I find them an encumbrance. They limit the ability to move freely and in consequence often stifle creative thinking. It’s often the case that a simple examination of the surroundings will identify a solid item – wall, rock, tree – against which a camera can be securely held obviating the need for a tripod. For the curious this was shot at ISO 100, F10, 1/6th second.


About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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22 Responses to Waterfall

  1. shoreacres says:

    It’s a lovely photo. I especially like that little splash at the bottom. It makes the image even more interesting, I think. Thanks, too, for the shooting information, and for the mention of the (lack of a) tripod. While I know they’re necessary for some situations, I’ve just not been willing to lug one along with me. It’s always nice to see examples of what can be done without one.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Linda. Got to see the bottom of the waterfall as well as the top. A tripod is just one more bit of kit to have to carry. In urban areas where I do a lot of photography you just cannot set one up even if you wanted to. And if you get to know how to hold a camera steady then most of us should be fully capable of holding a camera steady at 1/30th of a second and there are very few situations where you have to shoot slower than that if you adjust the ISO.
      When I went to Africa to climb Kilimanjaro one fellow climber had a tripod. On Day 1 he spent about five minutes setting up his tripod to get a shot. Everyone stood and waited. The Tripod was never used again, and actually he never made it to the top – got high altitude mountain sickness and was turned round and sent back down.

  2. Sue says:

    Nice capture, Andy….I confess to being flummoxed – was this at Hever? Years since I was there, but I don’t recall a waterfall!

    • LensScaper says:

      Hi Sue and thanks for the comment. Yes this is from Hever, its tucked away at the end of a long damp wall along the edge of the Italian Gardens where Ferns and Hostas are the predominant species growing. It’s easily missed. Hever looked really beautiful by the way.

  3. I totally agree with what you say about tripods, Andy. Not sure I’d be able to produce a good photograph at 1/6 of a second, though. How did you do it?

    • LensScaper says:

      I’m glad you agree Linda – there seem to be many photographers out there who do use tripods. For this image there was a conveniently placed tree against which the camera was firmly held and the shutter squeezed – job done.

  4. oneowner says:

    It’s refreshing to see a shot like this. It’s snowing here and looking pretty bleak.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Ken – the weather will change on Monday and we will be back to ‘average’ temperatures for early April. I can remember snow in April, it certainly happens, but hopefully not this year.

  5. paula graham says:

    Tripods: hate them! This photo…love it

  6. athyfoto says:

    I find it very strange to hear you “never” carry a tripod. I don’t often carry one, though I bought a lightweight travel tripod which makes life a lot easier. The overwhelming number of my shots don’t involve using a tripod and I am no longer able to lug 20kg of kit around (ah the ravages of time) and so I plan where and when I am going out and the where and the when help me to plan what kit I need to carry. Not much use going out before dawn to capture the first light without a tripod IMHO.
    These days I find I can’t handhold quite to well as I used to, even with todays IS systems! Even if I could, I don’t think a 30 second exposure to smooth out a choppy sea or lake and/or smear clouds across the sky to create a sense of movement and passage of time would work hand held either. I almost always have a tripod in the boot of the car when I go out so it is always an option.
    So I suppose that the creative thinking starts with planning the outing and what you’re after capturing.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks for writing. I think the answer about tripods is that it depends on what you shoot. I’ve had a lifetime of disturbed nights (working as a doctor) and one thing I never do these days is get up early to watch the sun rise – unless I’m in the Alps climbing, in which case I just wind the ISO up accordingly. And Ive never (so far) used Big Stoppers for long exposure. If that starts to interest me, then I will have to use a tripod, but so far my photography is of the sort that does not justify one. And I, like you, am not looking to add weight to what I carry.
      Having said all that, I might just be out in a few days with my 500mm Mirror Lens (750mm on a DX Body) to capture some slightly different images of Spring – and for that I will have to lug a Tripod around. It’s horses for courses, isn’t it.

  7. Nicely done! Fascinating how our viewpoints are so different. I use a tripod on about 90 percent of my photos, even when I don’t technically need one. 🙂

  8. seekraz says:

    This is a subject that is somewhat out of your norm, but you captured it wonderfully, Andy. Very nice….

    • LensScaper says:

      Yes, you are right, Scott. With my habit of avoiding tripods, and not one to carry ND filters, I rule out images like this. But it is possible to get images like this without a tripod and without a ND filter. So often there is something against which to wedge a camera – and then slo-mo is possible.

  9. bluebrightly says:

    I don’t carry one either – it’s somewhere in the back of the car, unused. I love the image stabilization my camera and some lenses have – I think they help me. And like you said, sometimes you can find something to lean against, or rest on. Lovely image!

  10. mrmickca says:

    Awesome ! You got this waterfall beautifully!

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