Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Aug. 5, 2009. Nikon F3HP, 28-80mm AIS Nikkor lens, 4x ND filter, Ilford Pan-F.
Bond Falls, located in the west-central Upper Peninsula is one of those places that many photographers have visited, and a few photographers have made iconic. The step-like nature of the falls and the easy access (due to a series of steps and pathways all around one side and at the base of the falls), really make it a pleasure to photograph. I can set my tripod and camera up for great angles, and whether it is a close-up of a small cascade or the full view from the base, as seen above, it's hard to get tired shooting there.
This was my second visit there, and I have much better technique and tools available to me since my first visit. The weather was largely the same -- bright sun. I can't control the weather nor could I choose a later time of day. However, with a 4x Neutral-density filter and a red filter, I was able to get shutter speeds as slow as 8 seconds, using Ilford Pan-F rated at ISO 32. The only problem I had was people. There is easy access to the water, and all kinds of kids were frolicking in the water near the base of the falls. I was patient, and got the shots I wanted when they moved on. I had to laugh though. This couple in the photo at the top was fly-fishing in the same area where the kids had been splashing around. Dressed like they stepped out of an Orvis catalog. Fishing there? I think they made for a great shot though, and I hope they had better success elsewhere.
However, fishing -- like photography, is similar in some respects. Success is often determined by the time of day, your patience, and your technique. Sometimes the tools don't matter, but using the tools at hand to their fullest will often make success more probable. Luck plays a part sometimes, but I'd like to think that it's the prepared that are lucky. In this instance I think I had more luck than the couple fishing.