Praises in Scripture Nature Photography Art
One of the most magical and beautiful subjects for nature photography are waterfalls. The scenic tranquility that waterfall pictures offer is second to none. The sound of rushing water combined with the natural surroundings found in waterfall scenery provides a type of relaxation from nature that is wonderful to experience.
We have visited many waterfalls throughout our nature photography adventures. However, we have not seen all of them and it is a blessing to know that there are many other wonderful waterfalls just waiting for us to find and photograph. Some of the most beautiful waterfall pictures we have taken have been in little or unknown locations. Sometimes it can be very difficult to hike to these waterfall locations and other times it is relatively easy.
One of our personal favorite waterfalls to visit and photograph year after year is Elakala waterfalls. This waterfall is probably the most photogenic waterfall scenes we have ever photographed. The trail to get to Elakala waterfalls provides a relatively easy path to get to the waterfalls. Once you are at the waterfalls, there is a bridge that crosses the creek that feeds the waterfalls. This creek actually feeds into the Blackwater River after it finishes the course running down the gorge.
Although there is a beautiful view from the footbridge which crosses the creek, this perspective does not provide an opportune vantage point for waterfall photography. In order to position yourself in the best photogenic position you will need to traverse the bridge, then descend down the hillside through the rocks and mountain laurel until you come to the creek below the waterfalls. This vantage point offers many opportunities for fantastic waterfall pictures. This is where we took one of our best waterfall scenic images where we captured the swirling pool of water below the waterfalls with a 30 second long exposure. This technique requires the lighting to be just right and the combination of a neutral density filter to slow the light down. Using an ND filter and overcast and an overcast sunlit day allows a longer exposure without over exposing the image. Elakala waterfalls have several waterfall portrait opportunities as you follow the stream down the gorges’ steep mountainside.
Another one of our favorite places to hike and take pictures of waterfalls is Keeny’s creek which is near Winona, WV. This area has long been an area known for whitewater rafting adventurers. Just above the New River gorge after passing through the tiny mountain village of Winona, you will begin to see a creek which feeds the Keeny’s creek waterfalls. This area is very rugged and steep, which is conducive to making waterfalls beautiful. However, the steeper the terrain the more difficult it is to get good waterfall pictures from appropriate vantage points.
At the first waterfall a bridge crosses the creek and you can hear the waterfall as you drive by the area. There is a wide spot in the road which allows you to pull over and get your camera gear ready to traverse the rocky hillside and slope. This is not the most scenic waterfall but it is a waterfall and provides a nice waterfall scenery shot. One of the most memorable moments from this particular waterfall was when I stopped to take some waterfall pictures here and happened to see a wild otter on the hillside just across from the waterfall. Of course the otter ran as soon as it saw me and I did not get a chance to take a clear picture of it, but it was a neat experience nonetheless.
As you continue down the road that leads to the New River Gorge following Keeny’s creek, many waterfalls are found as the mountainside slopes steeply below the path of the creek. You may choose to park alongside the road and climb down the hillside 100 feet or so, but I advise that you assess the options carefully, because getting back up will not be easy and this hillside is riddled with rocks that often slide and tumble down into the creek below. I certainly would not want to be in the path of one of these rocks on my way up or down to a waterfall. One option to consider when hiking this area is to enter at the bottom where the creek empties into the New River. There is a small path which is sort of defined along the bottom of the Cliffside and is fairly easy to hike until you get to some tight areas and are forced either into the water or onto the steep hillside. Whichever option you choose this area is covered with scenic waterfall photograph opportunities and as long as you are careful this rugged territory will yield a rewarding and adventurous waterfall photography experience.
The most wonderful place that we have ever experienced in our waterfall photography adventures is Seneca Creek, West Virginia. The beginning of this trail is near the highest point in West Virginia which is Spruce Knob. A very wide parking area is at the entrance of the Seneca creek trail head which allows for several vehicles to park while they are hiking the trail that is several miles long. At first when entering this trail there is no more than a small trickle that feeds the creek. As you continue down the trail your attention will shift from the creek to the beautiful trail and mountain scenery all around the well maintained path. The trees, rocks and beautiful mountainside views on either side of this trail give a feeling of remote tranquility that is rare in today’s society. After hiking nearly a mile or more you will notice that the creek has grown much larger and small waterfalls begin to appear. Once you reach Judy Springs, which feeds the creek there is a great place to set up camp and we highly recommend doing this at this point as you are about 3 to 4 miles in to the trail and a return trip requires quite a vigorous walk. It is not impossible to achieve this as my young son and I did this when he was about 7 years old. We were certainly tired at the end of the day and we would have enjoyed our trip much more had we been able to spend ample time at each photography scene. As many nature photographers would agree, it is easy to spend an hour or more at an interesting and scenic waterfall location.
Hopefully, after you set up camp at Judy Springs you can then begin the real ultimate waterfall photography experience. Beautiful waterfalls abound around every corner as you hike this literal wilderness Eden. Once you get to the end of the trail the terrain becomes very rugged and almost impossible to hike. It is worth the effort however if you continue past the end of the maintained path, because there are additional waterfall photography opportunities further down the rugged portion of the trail. Some of the waterfalls on Seneca creek can be as high as 25 feet or more and some are even as wide as 50 feet or more. This is probably the most wonderful place we have ever hiked and I highly recommend it to anyone that is interested in hiking this area. But be advised it is not for the faint of heart or those of weak fortitude. The hike in is easier as the hike out because the slope is deceptive and barely noticeable on the way down the mountain into the wilderness, but is certainly noticeable on the way out.
We sincerely hope that you enjoy the fruits of our labor and pray that you share our vast waterfall picture website library with your friends, neighbors and relatives. As we continue to revisit these areas and many others throughout the forests and mountains we will work diligently to keep you updated with the latest scenic waterfall pictures from ForestWander.