Background notes on Waterfall Hunting

For a while now I have been photographing Australian waterfalls of all sizes and complexities. 2016 was particularly wet, recharging a lot of the highland springs and marshes that feed some of the higher falls. This turned some of the falls into raging torrents.

In contrast 2018 was dry, and the falls fell silent for long periods.

 I am slowly building this web resource of location details and images for each of the accessible waterfalls.

This is slow work.

Recently I worked out that on average it takes me about 75 minutes to drive to a parking spot, and then about 50 minutes to walk to each fall, and another 60 minutes playing with it: swimming in the pools if safe to cool off, photographing if the light and flow is ok. So each fall takes about 5 hours to capture. Some waterfalls can be hard to find; of the last 10 falls i went looking for, i only found 6 in my allotted time. But i had a good time.

 I take a well padded bag - it gets knocked around a lot. It carries 2 Cannon bodies (1 waterproof), CPL filters (to increase/reduce water surface reflection) and ND filters (to darken the lens and allow long exposure shots). I will take a combo 1000mm lens if i am not going to get next to the fall but otherwise carry a simple all purpose zoom and wide angle lens for normal use. You would be mad to bring high end lenses down into canyons or into the wet environments around falls. If it is hovering near or below freezing or very humid, i will bring chemical warmers to prevent lenses from misting or freezing.

Finally I pack 2 tripods - a sturdy all purpose machine and a tiny flexible one i can stick into crevices while i hang onto a rope.

 I make sure my hands are free while hiking, take high quality hiking boots, a sturdy walking stick (three legs are better than two), plenty of water and a small medical kit with a snake bandage.

I take a smart phone with mapping coordinates downloaded (still does not help with most waterfalls) knowing that in the bush I will not get cell reception but i will get some GPS positioning away from canyon walls. I take a times-two recharge battery for the phone, a backup compass and paper map and a fold-away solar recharger.

If i am going in a long way, i take an emergency flare.


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