09/28/14 Featured Arkansas Landscape Photography–Midnight at Haw Creek Falls
Taken with a Canon 6D, Canon 16-35 lens, at F4, iso 400, 2 hour time lapse photograph. This photograph was obtained by taking a series of 2 minute exposures from 10:00 pm to 12:15 am at Haw Creek Falls in the Arkansas Ozarks. I used a Canon 6D and a focal length of 18mm to take a series of 2 1/2 minute exposures. Each exposure was taken as raw file and developed in Lightroom, then I stacked them in Adobe Photoshop to capture only the motion of the earth over 2 hours which created the “trails. The blue color to the sky is from the moon, which was just a bit past 1/2 waxing. The moon adds both excellent ambient illumination to the night sky, giving it a blue hue, and also greatly adds to the landscape portion of the photograph. There was no light painting used on this photography, it’s all the light from the moon. I prefer this greatly over using artificial lighting, by painting as the moon just works better. You can read more about this technique in an article I wrote: Stacking for better nighttime photography. This photograph was taken in April of 2014, and spring was very late this year as can be seen in the trees on both banks of the creek.
I been working for a shot like this from Haw Creek for over 3 years. Catching the conditions all together can be harder than you think. You need a good flow of water, but not too much, as was present in March. The moon needs to be waxing for this shot, not waning or you will be up way to late waiting on the moon to appear. A clear sky is needed, with no clouds if possible and this does not always work out, as over 2 hours it’s quite common to see a front blow in. Also it work best if there is little to no wind. But since I am stacking I usually can find one of the stacks that has less wind noise than the rest.
This shot has it all, as you have great water, running over most of the ledge, and excellent play of shadows on the foreground. I am looking to the northwest, you can barely see where the north star is up in the upper right corner of the shot. It’s not very easy to get a good shot of the falls and the north star from below the drop, but the wide angle lens I was using did grab a nice portion of the sky. Of all the photograph I work with, nighttime stacking takes by far the greatest amount of time, both in the capture of the images and post processing, however I love the look of what I can create.