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Now that the fall colors are done it’s time to reflect on my favorite fall photography location. Every year it turns out to be someplace different. This year it was Bond Falls. I’ve been to Bond Falls many times including several times in the fall but this is the first time I’ve managed to visit during peak color. It turned out to be a spectacular day for photography and the best couple of hours I had this fall season.

We drove in from Marquette, Michigan. Just before reaching the falls we noticed a camping area next to the lake that is the source of water for Bond Falls. As it has been for a number of years the lake was at a low level. However there were some beautiful fall colors and reflections.

We then drove down to the parking lot. I was a little surprised there were not as many people as I expected. Normally this time of year the place is packed. Nevertheless I did win a bet with my wife that we would see more than thirty people. She thought that on Sunday morning the place would be deserted. I won by a large margin.

Time of day does make a difference when photographing Bond Falls. We arrived late in the morning when the sun was almost directly in back of the falls so it was impossible to get a good shot. We walked across the footbridge at the bottom of the falls and I was able to get this shot. Because of the high dynamic range in the subject it was necessary to take several photos with different exposures and then merge them using Photomatrix Pro. This allowed me to capture the shadows and the highlights. In this case I used the Exposure Fusion option which gives you a more realistic product and one that is not obviously an HDR photo.

We then followed the trail along the eastern side of the falls. It was difficult shooting because it was a bright sunny day. I did manage to capture a few reflection shots as well as this shot of a small falls.

As we arrived at the road above the falls we notice some brilliant color in the trees along the road. This is the road that leads back to the lake above the falls.

We then walked back over to the east side of the river to a small parking area. The water in this area pools a bit and I was able to get some great reflection shots of a small falls and leaves in the water.

We then headed down the west side trail. Our main destination was the famous Z which is a popular photography location. I expected to stand in line for a photo opportunity but everyone walked past without even looking. Obviously they were not photographers.

The next stop was the stairs at the head of the falls. Once again it was necessary to take several shots to capture the high dynamic range in the scene because part of the Falls was in bright sunlight and part in the shade.

We stopped briefly at the bottom of the falls for a few photos then returned to the car for the long drive home.

More photos of Bond Falls can be found on my website.

One Comment

  1. Electric and beautiful.

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