Waterfalls are some of the most fascination things to me and one of my favorite subjects to photograph in landscapes. They offer a variety of shapes and can be captured in so many ways. This specific waterfall in this episode of "Story behind the image" is well known by the people of Winterthur, but nevertheless a bit hidden which made the start to capture this image harder then expected. Read further to learn how I shot this particular image.
When you drive out of the quarter of Wülflingen in direction Embrach you'll pass this little series of waterfalls. You won't be able to see it out of your car window because its located like thirty meters lower than the street and so many will pass without noticing it.
The few small waterfalls here are called "Affenschlucht" (something like "Ape-Canyon") but I actually can't tell you why its called so. If you know, pleas let me know in the comments. The river that runs it are the Töss and it falls on this location in two steps. There is an upper Fall, with an approximately hight of 6 meters and an lower fall with the hight of around four meters. Not very high, but very beautiful laid out as the upper fall made kind of a curve whilst the lower flows between several rocks.
It is also a great place in summers to picnic or have a swim in the pools beneath the upper fall. But it can get crowded, especially in the warmer days, nevertheless kind of a hidden gem.
HOW I SHOT THE IMAGE
The start to this image was kind of difficult. On a beautiful summer-evening a colleague and I tried to photograph this waterfalls. We found it, we parked but weren't somehow able to find a way down to the falls. So we left the location in search for something else, but it never let me loose to go back there and shot it -because as you know, I am fascinated by waterfalls.
A few weeks later, it was a beautiful sunset, I headed towards the location once again. After some searching I found the small pathway down to the falls. The upper fall was pretty crowded and so I searched a composition with the lower fall, which, after some climbing, I found. I shot one of my all-time-favourit pictures on that evening, the light was just perfect, running from a warm orange sunlight to a cold blueish shadow across the fall. The image I am talking about is postet at the end of the post.
Nevertheless I had this - for me - amazing shot I always wanted to return to capture the upper fall. Time passed and as winter came I saw the opportunity to go there once more without getting the same image again - because part of the waterfall should have been frozen. And to avoid the same light, I got up early to catch sunrise.
As I arrived the location I had it all for myself. Well it still was dark and like 0°C air-temperature, not exactly bathing-conditions. My hope of a partly frozen waterfall also was in favor and I started to look for a good composition. It took me a while to find something pleasing. Firstly I tried to find something with the wide-angle-lens. The one composition I found was okay, but it was difficult because of the distracting background. The sun was already risen, as I decided to ditch the wide-angel-lens and mounted the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM on my Canon 5D Mark III.
This gave me the chance to go closer, capture some details out of the waterfall. What I found shortly after, looking trough the viewfinder, was this composition with the still flowing waterfall in the background and an frozen piece in the foreground. I opted for a classical rule-of-third-compostion where I had the rock with the frozen water on the left third of the image and the running waterfall in the middle and right third. As additional element I created a leading-line withe the line where the water falls into the pool from the lower left corner into the image. With this composition the image contains a leading line, a fore-, middle- and background as well as a pleasing rule-of-thirs-compostion. So far so good.
But I wanted the running water to be smooth, which meant I had to longexposure the image. I mounted the LEE Foundation 100mm Foundation Holder to the Lens and clipped in the Lee Big Stopper. This Filter block 10 stops of light and allow for some real long-exposures in daylight.
With ISO 50, 20 seconds of exposure-time, an aperture of f/10 and 70mm of focal-length, a minimum of post-processing this image was the result:
And here are a few more of the same location, whilst the first one being the one I shot during that sunset. If you like this picture or one of the others in the gallery, I have good news: Expect for the sunset-image all are available as print! If your interested please send me an e-mail (address on the bottom of this post). Other Prints are also available in my Online-Shop.
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