I think I could shoot here weekly and never get bored! And, I might have to because it's getting hot and dry here in Austin! This won't last all summer.
And yes, this is in Austin, TX!
I love shooting waterfalls - I just find it so satisfying. My friend Mike Boening was in Austin last week, so we met up to get in some shooting. While our primary destination was sunset and blue hour at the Loop 360 Bridge, we met up in time to stop here for some shots first.
I call this "the secret waterfall" because it's a little hidden, but in reality it's quite easy to get to. However, I have never seen another photographer there, not even once. So perhaps it will remain a secret for a while longer!
This is towards the end of Bull Creek, in the greenbelt there, just off Loop 360 on the west side of Austin. The thing I love about it, apart from it's somewhat secluded location, is that it's a pretty nice size waterfall. Now it's not a TALL waterfall at all - maybe 4 feet tall at the highest point. But, it's fairly long, stretching a good 40-50 feet at it's widest section. In other words, it gives you plenty of options for various compositions.
I have shared many photos from here in the past. The most recent was this one, illustrating how I use Aurora HDR to create dramatic waterfall photos (and includes a video, too). And there's this post, showing several different views of this lovely spot.
See what I mean? I go there a lot, because it's just beautiful, fun to shoot, and so close to home. Sort of the holy trinity when you feel the need to take photos, right?
Sure, you can HDR a waterfall!
It seems like most of the time when you see waterfall photos, the person has used a filter to get a really long exposure. That gives them the silky-flowing-water look and generally gives them enough detail in the shadows too. That's a popular technique and a good one. You might not think HDR would work for waterfalls, but I find it works great. Since I shoot brackets nearly every time I fire up the camera, I do the same with waterfalls. Just make sure you get one exposure that is fairly long (assuming you want smooth water).
These are all 3 exposure HDR photos created in Aurora HDR. Due to the lack of color in the scene, I went for a desaturated look in all of these. It just seemed to fit, since it was early evening, but owing to a late summer sunset time, it was still bright out. In other words, there was no dramatic light cascading down here (this spot is sort of in a little canyon and thus doesn't get direct light at the edges of the day).
I shot everything at f/22 to get a nice long exposure for smooth water. And that last photo I converted to monochrome in Tonality, also by Macphun, which is an excellent product for black and white work. It's so fun to use I have started do more and more in monochrome, despite my love of big colors.