Skip navigation

Category Archives: Waterfall Photography

Following our stop at Tettegouche State Park we moved on up the coast to the Temperance River. We walked the path to Lake Superior and took a few photos of the river as it passed under the foot bridge.

 

We noticed there were quite a few fishermen working the mouth of the Temperance River. Fishing must have not been that good because no one caught a fish while we were watching.

 

I’m a sucker for photographing foam patterns. There was quite a bit of foam in the river and lots of opportunities.

Advertisements

Normally we don’t drive up the North Shore of Lake Superior on a weekend because there are just too many people around. However, it was a beautiful day and we had been kicked out of our condo garage because it was being cleaned. We decided to get up early and beat the crowd. When we arrived at Gooseberry there were about 20 cars in the parking lot. We walked up to Upper Falls and took a few photos. I was a little surprised there wasn’t more water flowing in the river.

Tough taking waterfall photos in the bright sunlight. This is a shot of Middle Falls.

There was a spray coming off of Middle Falls and it was cold enough to produce an ice covering on some of the vegetation below the falls.

There were also quite a few fishermen below the lower falls. I didn’t see anyone catch anything.

When we returned to the car the parking lot was starting to fill up.

Bond Falls is know as a great place to photograph in the fall and is known for its iconic Z which is photographed with fall color reflections. However it also a great place to photograph in the winter because is always has open water flowing. It is located just below a dam so the falls area never completely freezes.

Bond Falls

 

At the bottom Tripp Falls Ravine is a small spring fed stream that flows into the Red Cedar River. It is located about 1.5 miles outside Menomonie, Wisconsin.  Access to the area is via a short steep trail which leads into the ravine. In the winter it can be treacherous because the stream and the ravine floor may be solid ice. You can hike up the gully for about a half a mile although the most interesting sections are found within the first 400 yards. There are a variety of winter photographic opportunities which include the stream, frost, ice patterns,a large ice wall and several small waterfalls. Conditions vary a great deal in the winter. If it has been warm the stream will be open. If it has been cold the stream and the floor of the valley may be solid ice. If it has been really cold there may be a lot of frost shots. A short distance up the valley you will encounter a large ice wall and a 10 foot waterfall. It is possible but difficult to climb up the side of the waterfall. The climb over the waterfall can be a challenge on the snow and ice. There is a second small three foot waterfall about twenty yards above the larger waterfall. A sort walk above the smaller waterfall will lead you to the springs that feed the stream. I typically wear ice traction devices on my feet, during the winter, to prevent falls on the ice.  Because the ravine is vary narrow photographing on a sunny day is difficult. The best light is usually on a cloudy or overcast day.

As you walk down into the ravine you will encounter the small spring fed stream. The stream itself is not large but offers a variety of shots. During transition seasons and during periods of warming and cooling the stream offers shots of the ice formations along the edge of the stream. When the stream is completely frozen and the temperatures are below zero you have the chance to shoot patterns in the ice and frost that forms on the ice.

 

If you time your visit just right you can photograph ice covered leaves, twigs and ice formations that remind you of diamonds. This opportunity may occur for only a few days during the transition periods when the ice is first forming or is melting.

As you walk up the stream you will encounter large ice walls along the sides of the ravine. Throughout the year water seeps from the cliffs and during the winter producing these large ice walls.  After a short walk up the stream you will also encounter the first of two waterfalls.

This shot shows the waterfall and ice formations at the end of the ravine.

This is the largest at about 10 feet and is not so much a waterfall as water tumbling down over a sandstone slope. At times the water is open and at other times it is frozen completely over. Normally there are opportunities for shooting ice patterns along the waterfall.

To continue up the ravine you must climb along one side the waterfall. This can be a bit treacherous since it is usually solid ice. Once on the top you can walk up the stream a short distance to the second waterfall. This one is only about 3 feet but is a free falling waterfall. There are usually some ice formations around the waterfall but nothing spectacular.

At this point I usually stop but if you can get up over the waterfall you can continue to walk up the gully for quite a ways. The springs provide the water for the stream are found about 100 yards above the waterfall. There used to be a nice ladder to help get over the waterfall but it was destroyed by vandals.

You can find additional photos and driving directions to Tripp Falls on my website.

One of my favorite waterfall for winter photography is Willow falls located in Willow River State Park near Hudson, Wisconsin. What I like about Willow falls is the fact that during most of the winter the falls is not entirely frozen so you have the opportunity to photograph ice formations in combination with running water.

I spend most of my time shooting individual ice formations.

If we have a real cold snap and there is a lot of open water you can encounter considerable frost buildup on the trees and ground cover surrounding the falls. I spend most of my time shooting individual ice formations usually in combination with open water.

Willow River Frost

This is the site of my greatest photographic disaster. It was my first winter photographing at willow falls and I became so excited at seeing the great ice formations that I accidentally turned the wrong knob on my tripod head and loosened the camera from the tripod. When I picked up the tripod to move it the camera fell into the water. The camera seemed to fall in slow motion as I watched. Fortunately Nikon was able to salvage the camera which I still use on occasion.

Access to the falls is somewhat limited in the winter because most of the trails are groomed for cross country skiing. If you drive to the park on county road A and drive past the park entrance you will see a parking lot on your left. Note that a fee is required for parking. You can walk on the ski trail down to the falls from this parking lot.  Since this is also a cross country ski trail don’t walk on the ski tracks. The walk down into the river valley is steep and can be treacherous if it is icy. I always wear  traction devices on the bottom of my boots. These are also helpful in walking around the falls.

Additional photos of Willow Falls can be found on my Website.

The weather was going to turn warm so we decided to hear up the North Shore from Duluth to hike to the high falls of the Baptism River. On the way up the sun came out making it a little warm for hiking. More photos from Tettegouche State Park can be found on my website.

After walking over to the falls for some photos we decided to cross the bridge over the Baptism River and photograph the top of the falls with the sun at our back.

By the time we were finished with our hike we were pooped. I think it was a combination of several days of skiing, a hilly trail, warm weather and difficult waking conditions.

We made a brief stop at Overlooked Falls for a few photos. As I mentioned it was 80 degrees and way to warm to hike.

Nonesuch Falls is located at the former town of Nonesuch where a copper mine operated off and on from 1867- 1912. At it’s peak it had a post office and a population of 300. Now the only thing remaining are some foundations. The waterfall is not all that impressive.

The hike out was spectacular with deep blue sky and lots of color in the trees. Unfortunately it was 80 degrees in late October and way to hot to be hiking.

On our way back from  Skiing at After Hours Ski Trails we decided to stop in at Amnicon Falls State Park to look around. As it turned out the combination of fresh snow and the root beer colored water made for some nice photos.

Our first stop in the morning was Bonanza Falls. I spent most of my time this trip taking intimate photos of the waterfalls.