12/14/15 Featured Arkansas Landscape Photography–Fall view below Big Bluff on the Buffalo River
Taken with a Phase One P45+ and 35mm F 3.5 lens, ISO 50, 2 exposures-one polarized and one non-polarized for reflections.
The Buffalo River has numerous bluffs along it’s entire length, but Big Bluff is the tallest at well over 550 feet tall from the river. Big Bluff is famous for the goat trail, which is a narrow shelf of rock that cuts across the middle Big Bluff. At a few points it’s barely 4 feet wide and the edge is straight off. Since the road down to Big Bluff from Hwy 21 was closed, you now have to hike down from the Compton Trail head and that is a major hike. The trail itself is at least 2 miles to the goat trail, and it’s all up hill on the way back. There is no water on the trail unless you happen go during a heavy rain so plan to bring some.
The best view is not from the the goat trail, but instead from the bottom of the bluff. Here in the fall you can catch some wonderful reflections along the river bank if the river is calm. On this day, I hiked in from Steel creek and waited for about 2 hours for the wind to die down. The wait was well worth it as the sunlight improved and the tress on the far bank were just lit up. It’s very interesting to note, that only the trees along the river were starting to turn and the trees up towards the top are still mainly green.
I used a Phase One P45+ back to take this photograph. I used a tripod mainly since I was going to bracket the shots. I wanted to use a polarizer to help cut the glare off the trees but I also knew that the polarizer would cut down on the reflections. So it was a simple thing to take two shots bracketing and then combine them later in Photoshop. This hike from Steel creek is a about 1.5 miles one way and you have to cross the Buffalo several times, so plan to make this trip on a low water day, or from a canoe.
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