Tag Archives: cascade

“Rock Garden Waterfall” – Royal Botanical Gardens, Burlington

“Rock Garden Waterfall” - Royal Botanical Gardens, Burlingto

“A garden should make you feel you’ve entered privileged space — a place not just set apart but reverberant — and it seems to me that, to achieve this, the gardener must put some kind of twist on the existing landscape, turn its prose into something nearer poetry.”
― Michael Pollan

A change of pace from all my recent flower and butterfly photos, though if you look closely, there are still flowers present. Can you find them?

I did set out to photograph flowers this day and have plenty to share at a later date, but I do like a good waterfall and the serenity small cascades like this create for me, even knowing it is man made. I used a slow shutter at 1/10 of a second to slightly blur the movement and had to go hand-held because I did not want to carry a tripod all day. That did pose a challenge because it was very bright and I had to shoot at f/32 to keep the water from being blown out.

This stepped cascade can be found at the rock gardens, which are part of the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington, Ontario. The rock garden is one of several gardens within this large complex of garden exhibits and is nestled in the base of a valley, forming a bit of a bowl. Much of the stone is native limestone and some material has been moved into place to create a garden with large limestone boulders and many stepped paths which run up and down the hillside. I enjoyed the inclusion of many native plant species, which those who are not hiking the backwoods trails would never experience otherwise. Including Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum), which are the small pink flowers visible near the base of the higher cascade. They are a native plant and are members of the geranium family. The crushed leaves can be used as a mosquito repellant, handy at this time of year).

The waterfall pictured here, feeds into some smaller stepped cascades and eventually winds through the lower gardens as a meandering creek which flows beneath bridges and around some wonderful large trees.

At this time of year, the garden also features some exquisite blooming dogwoods, which I have a real attraction to (more photos of those to come).

If you happen to be in the Burlington area and like plants, I would highly recommend this as a destination, but plan on a day, since it is a large complex that spreads over several properties.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 70 mm
1/10 sec, f/32.0, ISO 500

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“Roadside Cascade near Gravenhurst”

Roadside Cascade near Gravenhurst 2012

“As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.”
― Henry David Thoreau

Simple beauty, oft passed by. This little cascade is right next to the highway outside of Gravenhurst, a small town in Ontario, Canada. I noticed it on my way to the cranberry marshes in Bala and decided to stop there on my way home. How many people speed by this place without even seeing it? Friends have asked where the photo was made and are surprised that it even exists, having passed it many times.

By the time I came back to check it out, the weather had turned to a steady rain. The rain actually enhanced the images, as it brought out the colours from the rock and leaves and allowed me to do a longer exposure to blur the flowing water. The cascade is fairly simple and accessible. It’s the kind of place I could sit and relax for hours on a more pleasant day. So, in a way, I’m happy that other people don’t notice it.

Nikon D300
Nikor 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 100mm
1 sec, f/32, ISO 1,000

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Tenaya Creek Rush” – Yosemite National Park

Tenya Creek Rush

I love the movement of water. So, on my visit to Yosemite in 2013, I spent a good portion of my time hiking the shores of the many creeks and cascades throughout the park. Tenaya Creek, pictured above, parallels the Mirror Lake Loop trail and there are many opportunities, close to the trail, to view and photograph the creek as it churns down toward the main valley. What makes it even more beautiful, is the effect of the large granite boulders that litter the creekbed. The water churns over and around these boulders with such power and urgency. Close to my home the creeks are small, slow flowing meanders filled with small rounded rocks, with very little colour.

The mountain cascades, in contrast, are fast flowing, crystal clear and flow over pink and gray boulders. It’s much more active and colourful.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 70mm
1/2 sec, f/29, ISO 280

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“Zig-Zag” – High Falls, Bancroft, Ontario

"Zig-Zag" - High Falls, York River

High Falls, pictured above, is the result of a dam built at the terminus of Baptiste Lake to control the flow of the York River, which begins at this point. The river, while very useful for logging, used to cause catastrophic flooding in the town of Bancroft a few miles below. The dam sits atop a large mass of rugged rock above a valley with steep banks. I would love to have seen this area before the dam was built. It must have been quite a sight to see all that water rushing through this valley. While I imagine the lake was lower too, it would still have seen a significant flow, especially in spring.

The nature of the rock below the dam creates some pretty unique flow patterns, especially on long exposure, and it changes with the flow of the water. In spring, when there is a higher flow of water most of the central rocks are obscured. As summer progresses, the flow is reduced and small rivulets of water create intricate patterns between the rocks.

I spent an afternoon shooting a series of photos that cover many aspects of this cascade that I will  share from time to time, each offering a different vantage point and conveying the varied nature of this wonderful place.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm, f/2.8 @ 165 mm
1/8 sec, f/32.0, ISO 250

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“Alder Creek Cascade” – Yosemite National Park

Alder Creek Cascade

This remains one of my favourite photos. Partially because it was just a chance, unplanned, opportunity and secondly due to the sense of serenity it instills in me.

The unplanned aspect of this photo was that I was travelling to the Yosemite Valley proper, with the intention of photographing some of Yosemite’s grand waterfalls. On the trip in, I happened to glance over my shoulder into one of the many steep ravines that the road crosses. I noticed a small cascade and pulled the car over to have a closer look.

As I descended into the gully, I was greeted by this gorgeous scene of Alder Creek flowing over and around the moss-covered boulders. I was especially drawn to the water flowing lightly across the round boulder in the foreground.

I find myself going back to this image time and again when I need to wind down. As a photographer, I’m finding more often, that these chance encounters, with my natural surroundings, provide more satisfying and unique images than some of the grand vistas.

I hope you enjoy it too.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200mm @ 70mm
0.4sec @ f/6.3, ISO 200

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