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Rainy Day Waterfalls

After a recent snow melt and a few rainy days, the waterfalls of Hocking Hills were flowing strong. I ventured out on a rainy day to find a new, unnamed waterfall and see the Ash Cave waterfall.

Hocking Hills is crammed with nooks, crannies, gorges and hollows. After a good rain, the ends of many of these hollows can become waterfalls. It’s no surprise then that there are many more waterfalls in the area than are generally known. One of these unknown falls is very close to Ash Cave and is very easy to get to if you don’t mind getting your feet wet. The unnamed falls is a small but beautiful two tiered waterfall at the end of a short hollow right off Route 56. When I got there it was still raining and the water was  flowing steadily.

Click images to enlarge.
All photos are copyrighted and protected by Digimarc.

Unnamed Falls Rt. 56 ISO:200 - f/7.1 - 20mm - 126 sec - 10 stop ND filter
Unnamed Falls Rt. 56
ISO:200 – f/7.1 – 20mm – 126 sec – 10 stop ND filter

After getting to the parking area, I realized that I’d brought my tripod, but forgotten the attachment plates for it. D’oh! Fortunately I had my little folding pocket tripod so I had to make do with it. That meant finding some creative placements to get the shots I wanted.

Treepod - Samsung S5
Treepod – Samsung S5

The narrow hollow and tall waterfall seemed like a good scene for a vertical composition too. I wanted to include some of the fog that enveloped this low lying area as well.

Unnamed Falls Rt.56 ISO:100 - f/7.1 - 18mm - 126 sec - 10 stop ND filter
Unnamed Falls Rt.56
ISO:100 – f/7.1 – 18mm – 126 sec – 10 stop ND filter

Because it was so close, I decided to check out Ash Cave and see of the waterfall was flowing better than the last time I visited. Holy Crap, was it ever! I could hear it long before I could see it and when I came around the path and could see it, my jaw dropped! I’ve never seen it flowing so strong. It was a 90′ tall 15′ wide torrent! The sound from the falls and the echos from the curved cave walls created an enveloping 3D effect that was mesmerizing. Click HD in the video below for the best version.

 

I had the whole place to myself for nearly an hour and tried several different compositions with my little pocket tripod. Two of the really long exposure shots were my favorites. The first is closer in and centers the falls. The creek makes a nice leading line and the bright fog balances the dark rock overhang.

Ash Cave Falls Monster ISO:100 - f/11 - 12mm - 126 sec 10 stop ND filter
Ash Cave Falls Monster
ISO:100 – f/11 – 12mm – 126 sec 10 stop ND filter

For the second shot I moved further back and set the lens to it’s widest focal length of 10mm to show the enormity of the Ash Cave overhang. Neither image required very much post processing. It was just lens correction, color and contrast to liven up the dull RAW image, and some dodging and burning to draw attention to the falls.

Move the slider left and right to see the RAW vs Processed photos.

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Ash Cave Falls RAW ISO:200 - f/7.1 - 10mm - 63 sec - 10 stop ND filter
Ash Cave Falls RAW
ISO:200 – f/7.1 – 10mm – 63 sec – 10 stop ND filter
Ash Cave Falls Heavy ISO:200 - f/7.1 - 10mm - 63 sec - 10 stop ND filter
Ash Cave Falls Heavy
ISO:200 – f/7.1 – 10mm – 63 sec – 10 stop ND filter

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Whenever you have the opportunity to visit Hocking Hills is good, but visiting on a rainy weekday may give you usually crowded places to yourself and see the waterfalls at their best. Get outside.

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