Since backpacking in South Mountain State Park a few years ago (near Hickory, NC), I’ve wanted to return to the Jacob Branch water features and capture their beauty. This has been especially true since I recently purchased a 3 stop neutral density filter to go with my new wide angle lens. This morning I got up at early to beat the fall color spectators to the park.
I wanted to capture the High Shoal Falls waterfall, which is the primary point of interest for most day hikers in the park. It looked like the best shot of the falls was on the other side of the stream. Unfortunately, the aggressive terrain and large boulders didn’t offer a safe means across. I traveled back downstream a few hundred yards and precariously bouldered my way over to a section of the stream quite audible, but not visible from the trail. There I found a great location and captured the images in this post.
With my neutral density filter, I ended up with exposures around 20 seconds, at f16 and ISO 250. To recompose, I was able to keep my ND filter on by using my camera’s live view mode at f2.8. Though I’m pleased with these images, I’ll need more practice to perfect my technique with this filter. I didn’t make it to the other side of High Shoal Falls today. I’ll plan to return in the spring. Hope you enjoy!