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Category Archives: Big Falls County Park

We made a late fall visit to Big Falls County Park to check on conditions at Big Falls. The name is somewhat of a misnomer because Big Falls is not really a very big falls. It does, however offer some great opportunities for intimate photos of the falls. I really like the patterns created by the root beer colored water.

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I usually make a trip over to Big Falls County Park in the spring. It was a beautiful sunny day not conducive to photographing waterfalls but a beautiful day nonetheless.

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A few weeks ago we were in Eau Claire on business and decided to drive over to Big Falls County Park. It’s been a while since we visited Big Falls and with all of the recent rain thought there might be a good water flow. We weren’t disappointed there was some nice water going over the falls. We were also pleasantly surprised to find quite a few wildflowers growing along the road into the park and along the trail to the falls.Big-Falls-County-Park-14-6-_8182

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 A few weeks ago my wife signed up for a class on matting photographs. The class was being held at Beaver Creek Reserve which is just east of Eau Claire and right next to Big Falls County Park. It was a grey overcast day so I decided to drive her over for the class then drive over to Big Falls for some photography.

I normally photograph on the south side of the river because the falls on that side are much more interesting. Since there is so much black rock around the falls and the day was overcast I decided to photograph in black and white.

Although the name of the falls is Big Falls the reality is that it is a very small waterfall. As a result I typically photograph small sections of it rather than the complete falls. I’m always looking for different shot as the water levels change during different times of the year.

More photos from Big Falls County Park can be found on my website.

A couple of weeks ago we spent the day in Eau Claire to visit with friends. They were in town to get their computer fix and it would take all day. With time on our hands we decided to drive out to Big Falls County Park. It’s located just outside Fall Creek, Wisconsin on the Eau Claire River. Water levels were fairly good but it was difficult to photograph because of the bright sun. I ended up using a neutral density filter along with a polarizing filter to allow me to capture the dynamic range of the landscape and still slow the water down a bit.

This photo puts the size of the falls in perspective. It is not all that a dramatic of a waterfall but it is a very popular location for graduation and wedding photos. In fact, there were some wedding photos being taken on the far side of the river while we were there.

I prefer to capture small portions of the waterfall. This is a small rock formation with the water rushing around the rock.

This is an even more intimate photo of a small selection of water rushing over the falls.

More photos of Big Falls County Park can be found on my website.


Now that fall is officially over I can post my favorite fall photographs of 2011 and start looking forward to winter photography.

I chose this photograph of a Sumac patch because of the interesting patterns. Sumac are generally the first to show the reds of fall. It was taken on my farm after a rain that darkened the color on the Sumac bark.

Sumac

This small waterfall was taken early in the fall at Big Falls County Park east of Eau Claire Wisconsin. We had started over to the park earlier in the day when it was cloudy out. By the time we arrived the sun was going in and out of the clouds making it difficult to shoot. I managed this shot shortly after the sun went behind a cloud.

Big Falls

On an early fall trip we drove up to Copper Harbor, Michigan. The quality of the leaves varied but this bog shot taken just south of Houghton, Michigan showed the start of some fantastic color.

Bog

I love taking fall reflection shots. This was my favorite reflection shot of the season taken at the mouth of the Black River outside Ironwood, Michigan. It was taken from the docks under the footbridge over the river.

Black River Reflections

This photo was taken from the top of the Copper Peak Ski Flying Hill outside Ironwood, Michigan. You can see for miles from the top of the ski jump. There was still a lot of fall color in spite of the heavy winds earlier in the week. You can see Lake Superior in the background.

Copper Peak View

My wife and I had driven out to Gile Flowage just outside Hurley, Wisconsin to capture the sunrise. It is a great place to photograph because you can shoot the sun rising and turn around and shoot the early light on the trees resplendent in fall color. We had actually finished shooting for the morning and were driving to a place where we could turn the car around when I decided to take a couple of more shots. This turned out to be the last shot and my favorite.

Gile Flowage Sunrise

My wife had a meeting at meeting at Turtleback Golf Course in Rice Lake, Wisconsin. I rode along and planned on spending the day out photographing fall colors. As I drove into the parking lot I noticed the beautiful colors and captured this shot.

Turtleback Golf Course

Later that same day I was driving around in the Blue Hills east of Rice Lake. Late in the afternoon I managed to capture these bright yellows.

Rusk County

I really like this backlit scene taken near Pete’s Lake south of Munising, Michigan. I darkened the tree trunks to create a contrast with the bright reds and pastels in the background.

Pete’s Lake

This photo of a leaf on leaf was taken at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. I was photographing late in the day at Miners Beach. I was attracted to the leaf and the water and rock patterns just below Elliot Falls.

Leaf on Leaf

This is a shot taken from the top of Laughing Whitefish Falls east of Munising, Michigan. I tiptoed between the river and the viewing stand to get to the top of the falls and look over the edge and took the shot with a wide angle lens.

Laughing Whitefish Falls

Pewits Nest is one of the Wisconsin State Natural Areas. It is located just outside Baraboo, Wisconsin. It is a popular photo location in the fall when the leaves are turning. Unfortunately most of the leaves were down when we arrived but it still makes for a spectacular photograph.

Pewits Nest

Crex Meadow was the location of three of my favorite photos. All of the photos were taken within a couple of hours of each other. The first photo was taken as sunrise on Phantom Lake. I had originally planned to drive directly out to the Sandhill Crane roosting grounds but the sunrise on this particular day was so spectacular that I couldn’t pass it up.

Sunrise Phantom Lake

After photographing the sunrise I drove on to the rousting grounds for the Sandhill Cranes. The sky was very dramatic and I caught this small flight of Sandhill Cranes heading out for their feeding grounds.

Sandhill Cranes Morning Flight

This last photo was taken a little while later. Most of the Sandhill cranes had already left for their feeding grounds but I found a small group of them standing in some thin ice early in the morning. Shortly after this was taken they headed out for the day.

Sandhill Cranes

When most of the fall colors are gone and there are just a few leaves remaining I concentrate on photographing single backlit leaves. You can get some dramatic photographs using this technique.

Backlit Leaf

This hot was taken late in the fall at Duluth, Minnesota. It shows the South Breakwater Outer Light during a spectacular sunrise. We had stayed at a motel in Canal Park specifically so I could photograph a sunrise. When It came time to get moving I was a little slow until I saw the bright red color in the window. I was outside photographing in less than 10 minutes.

South Breakwater Outer Light Slunrise

Apparently I’m a little behind in processing my photographs. I found a batch of photos that I took back at the end of September on a visit to Big Falls County Park east of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. I hadn’t visited the park for some time so my wife and I drove over for a short visit. The day looked like it would be ideal for photographing waterfalls because there were enough clouds in the sky to create overcast conditions. Unfortunately when we reached the falls the sun came out. I was still able to get some shots using a neutral density filter along with my circularizing polarizer filter. The park is a favorite location for shooting weddings and graduation photos. As we were leaving I snapped a photo of someone getting their graduation picture taken.

More photographs of Big Falls County Park can be found on my website.