Photographing the Chase Falls    

Chase Falls 1

Chase Falls 2

Chase Falls 3

It is just over a year since I talked about my spring visit to a waterfall about 20 minutes from my home. Photographing the Chase Falls is, as the name infers, the falls just across the Trans Canada highway from the center of the small lakeside town of Chase, British Columbia.

Spring with its warm, snow-melting temperatures sure rolled in very early this year. Gosh, who would have thought we’d experience 30+ Celsius at the beginning of June. With that warm weather I was positive I wouldn’t see high, murky, water rushing over the falls.

I arrived around 11am and took the short walk along the sandy path to the falls. And sure enough, although there was plenty of water coming over Chase falls, the creek level was low enough that I was easily able to scramble among the large rocks along the bank and found many comfortable locations to set up my tripod. Ansel Adams said, “A good photograph is knowing where to stand.”

I guess that’s right when it comes to photographing a waterfall, I leaned against a big bolder and pulled out a couple of neutral density (ND) filters so I could reduce my shutter speed by a few seconds, and slow the water down in my shot. Then began moving my tripod from place to place, in hopes of finding that “good photograph.”

Photographing waterfalls and getting that smooth water that is so popular is really easy to do, and not complicated at all. All one needs is a camera, a sturdy tripod and a neutral density filter.

I put my camera on the tripod, focus, place a ND filter in front of the lens, and release the shutter. I rarely bother with a cable release. I usually just select my camera’s self-timer. I use 4-inch by 4-inch square ND filters that are well worn and a bit marked up.

When I purchased the filters they came with a filter holder to attach to the lens front, but that’s just more stuff to carry and instead I hold them by the edge in front of my camera lens and move them up and down so anything on them won’t show up when I take the picture.

I had a nice time taking pictures and even sat for a while on one of the large, smooth boulders just enjoying the cool air and the sound of the water. I think I might go back next week to try out a fish-eye lens that came into my shop.



10 responses to “Photographing the Chase Falls    

  1. Beautiful shots John. I have never used a ND filter (yet), although I have the set I bought from you. I have a question, (hope I don’t sound stupid!), when you say you ” focus, place the ND filter then take the shot…” you must set your exposure after placing the ND filter? We are heading up to the Yukon in a few days and I hope to use the filters while there. Thanks John.


    • Thank you Wendy. Gosh, the Yukon is would be so much fun…and even more so for a photographer!

      – Ok, the camera will focus itself so don’t worry about that Wendy.
      And yes, you must begin by figuring out what the proper exposure is with the ND in front of your lens.
      After selecting manual mode and deciding what F/stop (aperture) to use, (choose and aperture like f/8 or more that’ll give ya lots of depth-of-field….) I put the camera on the tripod.
      Next I adjust the Shutter speed (still holding the ND in front of the lens) until my exposure is proper.
      -Remember the camera is on a tripod and you’ll be using a cable release or the self-timer so you can have a very slow shutter speed without any camera movement.
      All that is left is taking a great picture.
      Does that make sense?


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