Photo of the Week! 26 – Woodland Rapids

River rapids

We went away for the weekend to North Wales, which is a reasonable drive from where we live. On the way home we wanted to go via a waterfall, because it makes the most of the day instead of just being sat in the car. When we arrived at the car park at the base of the trail, the rain began to fall.

That was OK though, because we both had waterproofs, and happily, umbrellas! After a walk of about an hour we arrived at the waterfall, and I spent around 30 minutes trying to find a good composition and get an exposure that wasn’t covered in spray, but it just wasn’t to be. On the walk back to the car I left the path down to the side of the river that flows from the falls, and captured this scene.

I really love the stark contrast between the hard edged, finely details rocks and the soft, ethereal water. Your eyes are pulled up and left, and settle on the bridge, positioned according to the rule of thirds and framed by the green vegetation all round. The tree in the foreground also does an important job of balancing the image by offsetting the weight of the river pulling to the left, and the tree and river combined form the impression of a triangle, but with the point to the viewer giving a great sense of something dynamic, you feel like you just have to go and stand on the bridge!

On a technical level, I used a 2 -stop ND filter to allow the exposure to be long enough to soften the water, and used a polarising filter to remove the glare of the rocks and also to reduce the opaque, whiteness of the water, which gives it that ethereal feel. The polariser also helps to saturate the rest of the foliage giving it vibrancy.

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