The Amazing, “Word of Mouth”, Tiny Waterfall

“I think I can! I think I can!

I was down country on a project with a fellow photographer and thought that while in that area, it might be nice to photograph a waterfall. So after a bit of research and asking around I found out about the mystery waterfall from the Nam! Supposed to be quite small, but very pretty, it was a short drive off the main road. There was a public track leading to it and it was only a 15 minute walk so it all sounded ideal.

So we found the side road and started to drive down it and within 200 meters, the road turned to gravel and it started to look very isolated not long after. We were looking around for signs as this was starting to look like private land we were driving on, and we had to go through a few gates as well. We were careful to close the gates as there was quite a bit of livestock around including some rather aggressive steers. It got to the point that we stopped and had a little discussion regarding the fact we might be in the wrong place. This place reeked of one of those horror movie plots where some ‘unaware touristy types’ are kidnapped and eaten by strange locals.

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We decided to press on and finally got to the end of the road. There was a sign, thank goodness, letting us know we were in the right place. So we packed up our gear and set off down the track for the short walk to the waterfall. We got less than 100m down the track when we found out that the bridge had been washed away, and it appeared that some very handy local had built another in it’s place.

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Errrr ok that stick isn’t fooling anyone so we found spot further downstream where we could clamber from rock to rock, and get over the wet stuff. It was a bit risky with the camera gear in our backs but it paid off. One slip and we could have had some expensive repair bills as the water was very deep.

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 So after making it across the great divide, we started to head up the track. For about the first 5 minutes or so it seemed quite civil, but things began to unravel soon after, as the track turned into a mud bath and then into a stream it’s self. Quite impressive when you are walking up a stream to get to a stream with a waterfall that has been described as well worth the efort and a secret hidden gem. So with muddy shoes, the anticipation is building and after about 30 mins of walking we finally arrive.

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Ok I am the first to admit that I was a little underwhelmed at the waterfall which was more like a toilet flushing than a majestic cascade. Sure it was pretty, but at just over a meter high, where was the rest of it!? HA HA! Actually if you must know, we kinda had found the wrong waterfall and there was one about 5 minutes further up the track the was a little more convincing yet not as pretty as this little bump. After setting up the tripods and shooting, we decided that the waterfall was worth the effort as the water was so clear and colourful. This punchy little waterfall had given us an adventure and given us some great results.

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Technical…

Most of the shots were tripod mounted. I was using an EFS 10-22mm lens on a crop sensor Canon body. The lens had a CPL Filter (Circular Polarising) on it to reduce glare and reflection on the water. The aperture was set at f18, with a shutter speed of 6 seconds for the blurred water effect. I can’t recall if I used a ND filter or not, as from memory it was quite dark in the forest anyway, and there appears to be no fringing or vignetting on the images. This would usually happen at wide angle when I combine two filters together, even when they are slimline because of the extreme width of the shot. If you are not careful with the 10-22mm lens, you can often get your feet in the shot. It is a great little lense and seems to be better performing than it’s L series counterpart the 17-40 F4. I just wish it would also fit my full frame camera.



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