Taken with a Phase One IQ100 back and Phase One XF camera @ 35mm LS lens, @ ISO 100 Single frame with a lot of push in the shadows.
The view of the White River from Calico Rock is one of the best in the state. Here you have a huge sweeping bend in the river and a beautiful valley that is full of deciduous trees that can produce a wonderful fall color display (however this did not happen in 2016). This spot on the river is just above the town of Calico Rock and you can easily see the town from this spot. I prefer to work this spot in the early morning or late evening. In the late summer to early fall the sun will set just off to the left of the frame and allows for a wonderful afterglow. In the winter and later fall the sun will be too far to the left to be really much of a part of the shot.
If you come to this spot in late May to the end of June the sun will set right over the lone pine tree and will give you a lot more illumination on the river and trees below the bluff. Calico Rock is also a great spot for night photography as there is not very much local light pollution that will effect your shot. However be warned that during most nights, the river fog will quickly rise over the top of the bluff and start to block out your view of the sky. It’s a great thing to watch as the fog starts to build up upstream and then starts to roll down the valley, eventually filling everything up. You will have to continuously watch the front of your lens as it’s very easy for the outer element to fog up.
Just another great spot to spend an afternoon in Arkansas.
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Taken with a Phase One IQ160 Medium Format Back and Arca rm3di/28mm Rodenstock Lens, image was captured in a bracketed series of exposures.
I have featured this image many times, but it’s still one of my favorites. I took this shot in January 2011 with a “tech” camera an Arca rm3di, with a Rodenstock 28mm lens. This view has since been ruined by graffiti, which was painted all over the rocks. I have slowly tried to removed it over the past 2 years, and have made some progress, however to the assholes that did it, **uk you.
Flatside Pinnacle is the key point in the Flatside Wilderness, and is right in the middle of the Quachita mountains. Looking in the shot between the two pine trees you can see Forked Mountain off in the western distance. Towards the middle of summer, you can catch the sun setting over the top of Forked Mountain. Flatside itself is around 1,500 feet tall, which make it taller than both Mt. Nebo, (near Russellville) and Petit Jean Mountain. The good news is that you don’t have hike very far to get to the summit as a road takes you almost all the way to summit. The Ouachita trail comes very close to Flatside also. The view from the summit has to be one of the best in Arkansas. Here looking to the west you can see Forked Mountain, and off to the right, Mt. Nebo, Spring Mountain, and the grandest of all Mt. Magazine, which is over 2,700 feet tall.
Flatside is great spot to catch a sunset, however if you want to get the best light try to get there before 11:00 am as after that you will be shooting into the sun. If there are some clouds, you may still get away with a great shot. Take a lunch and sit out on the rocks and enjoy the day.
Taken with a Phase One IQ260 and Arca rm3di tech camera/40mm Rodenstock lens
This is a typical day at Haw Creek falls, and I was again lucky to be there without anyone else to stand around and get in the way during the shoot. Haw Creek is a lovely smallish creek that runs in the Big Piney Creek, not far from these falls. The falls are impressive since there is a large ledge that runs all the way across the creek and in higher water conditions the water will start to consume the entire ledge. I like to catch water about like this, just enough to keep most of the ledge in play but not too much to flood out the rocks below the falls. To get this shot, I used my Arca rm3di camera which allows movements like a large format camera with my digital camera back. The shot is actually a composite of 3 images, Left, Center and Right. The Left and Right segments represent 16mm of shift in those respective directions. This allows you to create a very high resolution panorama without any of the issues like parallax. The lens I used was as 40mm Rodenstock HR-W which allows for an excellent field of view when shifted.
You have to be careful when working Haw Creek as there tends to be a lot of wind blowing down the creek. In most cases, I prefer to take a 1 to 4 second exposure of the water which in most cases will have a lot of wind blur in the trees. So you have make sure to cover the tree movement with a second series of exposures around 1/125 to 1/250 to stop the wind movement. It’s a simple process to combine the files later since I am using a tech camera and the movements are very precise. To allow the longer exposures I used both a Circular Polarizer and a Neutral Density filter. The polarizer will help with glare on the water and rocks and adds about 1.5 stops of exposure to the shot. As this was a bright day, I had to use a 1.2x ND filter. When I was taking the faster exposures for the trees, I left the polarizer on, but took the ND filter off as I no longer needed the extra exposure compensation.
As I already mentioned, Haw Creek Falls, tends to be overrun with people during the peak times of the year. The best day to go is a Monday as there will not be as many people at the campground and thus less traffic around the falls. There are some great swimming spots above the falls in the large pool that is created by the ledge. It’s a great place to head to when you know you have some water running in the creek.