Torc Waterfall – An Actual Shot

So, previously I’ve played with post production, today I want to just talk about me taking a picture.  I have been over the fact that I’m using an Olympus E-PL2 a Micro Four Thirds camera that is somewhere close to a DSLR, but not quite there.

Many of the functions you find in your typical DSLR, you will find in the Olympus camera.  One of those is Aperture Priority Mode.  This is the mode that I took the majority of my shots in while in Ireland.  I feel like, post-trip, I’ve learned a lot about mistakes I made while shooting there, but, I guess that’s why you take the pictures, to learn and take more.  Luckily, I did just fine for capturing memories for myself.

Anyway, Torc Waterfall is supposed to be this amazing, photogenic waterfall in Ireland’s National Park in Killarney.  I will go ahead and say, it’s beautiful.  The thing about this waterfall is that it isn’t the biggest waterfall in the world (by far) but what you get out of it, is you don’t necessarily feel awed and overwhelmed by nature.  Instead, you end up with a beautiful piece of scenery that is calming and fitting to the forest it is in, while still holding enough raw power to make you respect nature and it’s forces.  It’s definitely enough waterfall to make you notice, but not so vast as to almost numb your senses.  (Enough trying to verbalize an internal feeling I can’t seem to get out)

Today, I’m going to take a couple different shots I took of Torc and the area around it and share them with you.  If I do any post processing on these shots it will be extremely minor, I may attempt to fix the white balance slightly or make some minor changes to the tone curve, but that will be it.

The first photograph I’ll post is the most encompassing photo I was able to take.  I was attempting to get as much of the falls in the picture as possible  while giving it a good frame.  I was shooting in Aperture Priority mode and had my aperture set to f/4.0 on an Olympus M.40-150mm lens.  (On a non-PEN camera, that would be about an 80-300mm)

The camera shot at 1/100sec with an ISO of 320.  I had the lens at 40mm to get the widest angle possible in that lens.

Here is Torc Waterfall, capturing as much of it as I could with my 40-150

My first problem that I ran into, was not truly understanding my technology.  If I wanted the most clarity out of my picture with a wider depth of field, I should have had a higher f-stop than my lenses lowest setting.  The issue I run into here is there was fairly low lighting, and the urge to choose between visibly flowing water with a slow shutter speed and a more crisp still of the water.

Since I didn’t have a tripod, I went with the 4.0 and the 1/100 shutter speed to keep things at least somewhat salvageable.  In retrospect, a tripod would have been an absolutely stunningly great item to take with me on this trip, regardless of how awkward it would have been to carry in a lot of cases.

But, you will see that mostly, the image is crisp around the falls themselves, and a lot of the foliage starts to blur due to the depth of field.  The main focal point is left of center where the three streams of water seem to meet and create a large chunk of falls.  I really feel like this photograph gives an idea of scope for the viewer, showing both the major part of the falls in the top 2/3’s and then the softer part as the water disperses through the rocks in a much more gentle way.

This dispersion among the rocks is actually quite interesting on its own, and as you went down the stream a bit, it definitely had a different feel to it.

The rocks in front of Torc Waterfall with the falls in the background

The next picture I want to share focuses more on these rocks and less on the falls themselves. You can see that the falls in the back are slightly out of focus, but the rocks up front are clear as is the water falling between them.  To me, this picture really shows the duality of the site, as you have the violence of the major fall just behind the tranquility of the lake going between the rocks.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s still falling somewhat hard, but if you look where the water falls between the rocks and meets the next pool, you will notice a lack of splash that you wouldn’t expect that close to a large fall.

Also, worth noting is that this photo has all of the same settings as the last, except the shutter speed apparently decreased to 1/80 of a second.  This does add a little more motion to the water, especially visible in the background, and unfortunately for me, I feel like this is in the in-between area where the motion of the water is not enough to show “motion” beautifully, but not crisp enough either so that you just look like you got some blurry water in the falls.

Again, this is purely inexperience and lack of understanding on my part, and I hate that I ended up with that particular result, but since I can’t walk back out there, grab a tripod and wait for proper lighting and conditions, I have what I have.  I do really enjoy the photo nonetheless and it gives me a great memory of the site itself and what it offered.

My final photo to show is only just a few feet farther down the stream.  This is a close up of the water moving through the rocks.  In my opinion, this picture shows off the tranquility beautifully and really shows just how quickly that noisy and strong fall calmed down to a moving, but very serene stream.  You definitely still see the action of the water, you see it fall, but you can see a tranquility to go with it.  I’ll let you see what you take from it personally.

The calmer waters just a small distance from the large fall

And finally, just because I thought the picture was fun and it made me smile, a dog that was at Torc smiling as I take pictures.

This dog was so happy to be there with us as we visited Torc Waterfall

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