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My last few days on my blog have been particularly quiet: no stories, no “Making of”s….unfortunately an annoying virus kept me away from my computer, but I became close friend to the toilet. (spoiler: it was not a computer virus).

Yesterday I’ve uploaded another B&W picture, but this time I cannot blame it on the weather, it was my own decision based on the final result.

XinLiao

DSC_3765_DxO_6_DxO_7_DxO_8_DxO_9_DxO_tonemapped

I’d say the B&W version wins hands down. There was no way for me to get closer to the waterfall, so I was forced to include in the picture a green wall of vegetation. Turning it into a black and white picture allowed me to play with contrast and tone mapping and clearly place all the attention on the waterfall. Composition issues aside (I should have probably used a lens around 30-40mm which I don’t currently have) I was extremely happy about this shot. It was my first waterfall shot using a ND filter and that proved to be a life safer. As you can clearly notice from the color version of the picture the sun was bright in the sky and shining behind the waterfall. My first attempt at a waterfall under overcast sky turned out to be a pain in a part of the body that I should not mention (here), so I was kinda worried about a big waterfall under clear sky, but the ND filter did his job well. The 3 extra stops allowed me to get an effect that I do like a lot, and since the sun goes down behind the waterfall later in the afternoon there will be even less light. In the future I’ll try an even longer exposure because why not? I love waterfalls, both from a visual point of view and also from a photography point of view. You can play a lot with waterfalls: fast shutter speed, slow shutter speed, many composition opportunities….well, at least if you have the right gear or if you can walk to the right place.

Let’s talk about the place itself:

xin liao

That’s a pretty nice area: Plum Blossom lake, Xin Liao waterfall, botanic gardens, a lot of hiking routes and apparently one more waterfall that I’ve not seen yet. There’s a river between the waterfall and the lake and according to some road signs there should be a waterfall somewhere on that river. Adventure time!

The road basically ends in proximity of the path that leads to the Xin Liao waterfall. In 2006 the whole area suffered massive damage from a typhoon and had been closed for a long time. Luckily the area has been recovered and now a 1km hike leads you to a platform in front of the waterfall. I think there’s a way to get right underneath the waterfall, but you’d have to abandon the main path somewhere along the way and climb the wet rocks that lead there. With a heavy backpack, tripod and running shoes I didn’t try, but maybe in the future…

DSC_3751path

The official path to the waterfall climbs the hill on the left, but I’m pretty sure there’s a way through the rocks. Damn, this picture looks like a snapshot from a JJ Abrams movie.

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