Tumble Down


Waterfall with fern and rocks on Stevensville Brook. Underhill, Vermont.

I like returning to the same location throughout a season as you get to see firsthand how the area grows and matures as it transitions from Spring to Summer. Most of my time over the past three months has been spent here on Stevensville Brook shooting and practicing focus stacking techniques. This brook is near hiking trails that lead to the top of Mount Mansfield which takes about 3 hours or so to climb. You could spend your whole day here though shooting waterfalls when the conditions are right for it!

I had been watching this fern slowly take shape and grow over the Spring and several weeks ago finally felt like the time was right to shoot this scene. I looked at shooting this several times but the shooting position is a tight squeeze…The camera position is on a small section of rocks sitting slightly above the rocks and fern here. The more difficult aspect of shooting this was the wind movement in the fern. I shot this as a focus stacked image and the slight wind made for a long wait for just the right moment to shoot the first foreground image.

I shot two images here for focus and exposure levels as the background sometimes can be much darker than the foreground in a focus blended image. Merging shots that contain both water and two different exposures are a challenge but it can be done! You have to be very careful about how you compose and shoot several images beyond what you think you may need for a composite. I usually shoot several images to cover all parts of the scene and choose the best ones in post.

Image Data: Two images blended in Perfect layers 2 for focus and exposure. ISO 100. 21mm. F11 @ 1 second and 2.5 seconds. UV filter and a Cokin P series circular polarizer.

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