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Phantom Falls

Phantom Falls - Leica S2, 30mm, f/22, 2s, ISO 160

I drove up and spent the night in Yuba City on Friday for the express purpose of getting up early and starting a sunrise hike in the North Table Mountain Ecological Preserve with my friend Greg Mitchell.  A storm system had been dumping a lot rain in the area this entire past week and the weather predictions were that the storm would break Friday night.  When we got there, things were looking good but then suddenly all the clouds vanished.  Undeterred, we made our way to the spot to photograph Phantom Falls and after about 30 minutes, the clouds returned.  I needed the sun to be obscured by clouds so that there would be no harsh shadows on the rocks, but it couldn't be completely overcast or the sky wouldn't be interesting.  The weather co-operated giving us exactly what we needed and Greg and I both gleefully made many images.  For this image, I used a circular polarizer to enhance the sky color as well both a 3-stop reverse graduated neutral density filter as well as a soft 2 stop graduated neutral density filters.  In these types of scenes, you have to careful with your filters as if you place it too low in the horizon you'll end up "burning" the rocks.

This area contains several other waterfalls, a couple more which we photographed which I will hopefully finished working on over the coming weeks.  Its also an incredible place to hike and the wild flowers this week should be incredible.  This will definitely be an area I will return to next spring.


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