Sylvia Falls III

Peter Hill

Sydney, Australia

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Artist's Description

About to return to full-time employment after an 18-month hiatus and finishing a PhD, I was anxious to get one more trip to the Blue Mountains in, especially after canceling one recent trip due to the weather forecast predicting rain and high winds. Friday, 28 June 2013 was the day, and the forecast was right on the money.

My friend Mark and I arrived at Conservatory Hut about half an hour before dawn. We were greeted by fog and stillness. On our return from down in the Valley 6 hours later, there was even more fog and it was still still. The conditions were perfect for shooting long exposures.

Even better, there was a good flow in the Valley Of The Waters Creek due to several days of rain. As Mark is not a photographer I was much more disciplined in my shooting, so rather than languishing at any one waterfall for an hour or two, I ended up shooting 7 waterfalls during the course of the morning – a PB.

Starting with the waterfall on the tributary above Empress Falls where the main track crosses over it, I also then shot, in geographical order on the creek, Empress Falls, Sylvia Falls, Edith Falls, Lodore Falls, Flat Rock Falls, and finally Britannia Falls.

Throughout the morning I only used one camera and one lens – the Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III and the Canon TS-E 24mm f3.5L. Given the good water flow and overall absence of direct sunlight I often dispensed with any filters, but sometimes used the Hoya ND x400 and/or the Lee 0.75 Hard Grad ND.

This photograph is of Sylvia Falls, in my view the most photogenic falls in the Blue Mountains, even though compositional variations are limited by the terrain. In such heavy fog as was there on the day, the falls take on an ethereal presence, especially with a good flow as on this day. I hope I’ve managed to capture some of that feeling.

As with Sylvia Falls II, this shot did not require any filters. I did, however, stop down a bit more than usual to extend the exposure to 2 seconds. Any more and the highlights would have been blown.

Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III, Canon TS-E 24mm f3.5L, ISO 50, f16, 2 seconds

Artwork Comments

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