A Moments Peace

Leaves and water foam swirling near a waterfall. Underhill, Vermont.

Finding these water swirl images is always a challenge. I am always on the lookout for them when I am hiking but getting the right conditions to be able to shoot a swirl image doesn’t happen everyday. This waterfall is one I hike to quite often and the spot in today’s image contains three areas where swirl images are possible under the right conditions. The falls here are located fairly close to a hiking trail which climbs up Mount Mansfield however due to the close quarters of the forest here along with getting to the location is easiest hiking along the stream bed which can be hazardous at times makes these falls quite secluded from people.

If you look at the top third of the image you can see a small s curve in the riverbank and in the water are faint trails where the water flows in perfect circles when the right amount of foam is produced from the falls. In this area are two separate spots for swirls to occur and I stumbled upon the third spot which is right in the middle of this large pool. Usually when I come here there isn’t a large amount of water foam but on this day there was quite a substantial amount.

This shot was difficult because the bank I was standing on is very steep with only one spot to shoot here from above. I had to brace myself against the slope of the small cliff here while holding back a tree, composing and shooting at the same time. The only other possible shot here is from the small group of rocks at the bottom of the cliff which required actually sliding down the cliff to the rocks. I did get some images from the waterline on these rocks but getting there was a challenge!

Image Data: ISO 200. 17mm. F11 @ 13 seconds. Cokin P series circular polarizer.


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