Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Twin Falls

Twin Falls is a short 3 1/2 mile round trip hike off of the Iron Horse trail. It can be a brutal one though as it goes straight down to the falls through a very narrow path filled with full grown nettle plants, wildflowers and some pretty amazing old growth trees.

I was excited about this trip because it was short (I was feeling a bit under the weather) and there were waterfalls and I could practice shooting them with my new camera.

We started at the Twin Falls trail head which heads straight up the hill to meet up with the Iron Horse Trail. The trail to Twin Falls is approximately 300 feet up the trail and once you meet up with it, you go straight down the hillside through what starts out as an almost overgrown trail. It clears up to show you some old growth trees and then takes a steep descent to the falls. The first view point looks at the upper falls, but if you continue down the path you will come to a bridge with a breathtaking view of the entire upper falls. It was here that I set up with the tripod to try my first shots.

My main frustration with the camera first off was the brightness of the falls. It was so white against such a dark background that my shots were washed out. Since I'm not exactly versed yet in the correct settings I wasn't able to achieve a good shot.

Del sensed my frustration and pulled out his filters and set one in front of my lens (I can't remember if it was the polarizer or the neutral density, I'll clarify with him and update this post). As you can see it really warmed up the colors and made the falls clear. Scroll up to see the picture above for the difference. I'm still learning all the terminology and I'm sure the more I learn I'll look back on this post and cringe (as I'm sure anyone with any knowledge of cameras is doing right now!).

I noticed another view point a bit lower from the bridge so we wandered a bit further down and was greeted with a lovely view of the lower falls, which cascades down a rock face. I was playing with the zoom and although this isn't the best picture I was enjoying the different colors in the rock and with the water flowing over it I though it might make for a nice shot. I'm sure I will be able to come back to it later and play around with it when I start to learn more.

I was playing around with shutter speed on this one as I didn't have Del's filter (he was taking shots of his own). I was able to darken up the trees and pull out the color, but as you can see the falls still blur up even at a higher shutter speed (is it higher if it goes quicker or is it when it's slower...ugh) In any case, I made it so the shutter was only open for a quick moment but it still blurred.

Last time Del had been down to the falls he tried to climb all the way down to the bottom of the upper falls and ended up dangling off a cliff. This time he noticed another trail and asked if I was up for climbing down. As always, of course I was! It was harrowing, and I don't recommend it to the daily hiker. It was pretty much straight down, very muddy and slippery. We used tree roots to hold on to as we descended. Finally reaching the bottom he actually slipped jumping off a rock, which made my heart stop and I perched myself on a rock to watch him as he wandered around the slippery surfaces.

My battery was dying at this point, but I was able to catch a few shots of the waterfall, with the same issue as before. I was a little frustrated so I put my camera away. The above shot I actually cropped down. The original had two large boulders that were to the left that when I was at the falls I thought framed the shot, but when I processed it at home it the boulders were actually a distraction from the falls. So I cut them out.

The hike up out of the falls was easy, but dirty, and the hike up the rest of the trail was all up hill and a great work out. We saw many people going up and down the trail many times so obviously it's used as a sort of cross training. For a day climb and for any one who is new to hiking, I highly recommend Twin Falls.

UPDATED 7/10/08:

Just a quick note: Del was nice enough to show me a trick in photoshop with the above picture. The new version is below. He lightened up the shadows and really brought out the rocks and the green. Thanks Del!

1 comment:

The Great Panda said...

You need a graduated filter for those shots where there is bright area's and dark areas in the same frame. Nice work on the apple in the wood. Interesting and different. Keep it up