On June 5th, I got up early and visited Crabtree Falls in Virginia. It’s the tallest cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi. Supposedly, it was referenced many times on the old TV show The Waltons.
I made sure to get to Crabtree Falls right at sunrise. I wanted to shoot it with good lighting. It was important to me that not only should I avoid harsh lighting, but I wanted to get slow shutter speeds so that I could get the soft look of the falls. I was rewarded with the following:
Notice how soft the water looks? That one is my favorite, but I also like the following:
Both of those images have nice strong foreground elements. The following is a simpler composition with no real foreground element, but the water looks dramatic:
Besides the lighting, there were three other great benefits of getting to the falls early. First, it was much cooler. That part of Virginia was experiencing a heat wave that weekend. It was 95 by mid-afternoon, but very comfortable at 8 in the morning. Second, there were fewer bugs flying around. But perhaps most importantly, I avoided the huge crowds:
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