Greg Rickaby

Greg Rickaby

Full-Stack Developer / Photographer / Author

We Went Chasing Waterfalls

Posted on | 4 minute read

Dave's Falls

Our family recently traveled to Wisconsin to visit my folks. One afternoon, we drove to Dave’s Falls County Park in Amberg, WI. My kids had an adventure at the playground and climbing rocks while I had an experience of my own, shooting a few of the gorgeous waterfalls the park offers.

My goal was to capture several long exposures to create the calming effect of smooth water and I was carrying in a tripod, Sony a7R IV, Neewer ND1000 lens filters, and both the Tamron 20-40mm and Tamron 35-150mm (aka CHONKY BOI).

After we traveled down a flight of stairs and across a bridge, we came to a little tiny beach with some step stones. I didn’t even hesitate to jump on them over to the first waterfall. I put my tripod on the rock and set up for a long exposure:

Dave's Falls
Dave’s Falls in Amberg, WI | Sony a7R IV | Tamron 35-150mm | Neewer ND1000 Lens Filter | f/2.8, 1 sec, ISO 100 @ 100mm

Next, I zoomed out to 35mm and took 4 different exposures with different focus points. The foreground, middle ground, waterfall, and background. I used Adobe Photoshop to auto-blend them together which is a process called “focus stacking“. I love how it turned out!

Dave's Falls
Dave’s Falls in Amberg, WI | 4 Exposures Focus Stacked | Sony a7R IV | Tamron 35-150mm | Neewer ND1000 Lens Filter | f/4, 2 sec, ISO 100 @ 35mm

There was another waterfall that was bigger but tucked away. I needed to cross a bridge and hike for a few minutes to reach it. I couldn’t help but snap these along the way:

Wow! This location was so serene! A bit of “calm” washed over me as I just stood there and enjoyed the moment. Then I set up my camera and tripod again for a single, 8-second exposure:

Dave's Falls
Dave’s Falls in Amberg, WI | Sony a7R IV | Tamron 35-150mm | Neewer ND1000 Lens Filter | f/8, 8 sec, ISO 100 @ 35mm

Way downstream are the primary falls. There is a 20-30 foot drop, that you’re not able to get to, but you can get to the edge before the drop. I carefully walked down a slope to get alongside. It was getting late and the family was ready to go, so in order to get everything in focus quickly I stopped down to f/16 for 4 seconds:

Dave's Falls
Dave’s Falls in Amberg, WI | Sony a7R IV | Tamron 35-150mm | Neewer ND1000 Lens Filter | f/16, 4 sec, ISO 100 @ 35mm

Overall, I spent an about hour taking these waterfall photos and another hour doing edits in Lightroom. I absolutely loved how all of them turned out and I had so much fun on this adventure.

Before I go, I wanted to share some “happy snaps” of our family as we enjoyed the afternoon at Dave’s Falls County Park in Amberg, WI.

If you ask me, I think it’s perfectly okay to chase real-life waterfalls! 😎

Thanks for reading! 📸

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Jess Bailey

Jess Bailey

Excellent work here brother, very impressed! You’d go nuts up here!

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