Friday, October 12, 2012


I woke up my first morning in the Upper Peninsula excited to head out and shoot some of the numerous waterfalls in the area. The waterfalls have been in the past one of the highlights of my trips up there.  Unfortunately, the digital age has caught up to this part of the world.  I ended up very frustrated with the number of photographers surrounding several of the falls I visited that morning.  It wouldn't be so bad if they were all like me.  Uh, yeah, that's right.  I am a very courteous photographer.  To the point, that I get rushed and don't always get the shot I want.  Common protocol, to me, is let the ladies and children get a good view first, and then, try to step in, grab a few shots, and then step back.  Go for it again in a few minutes if you like, but, don't camp out.  Especially if you have a 3 legged monster with you called a tripod.  An accident waiting to happen.  The real problem was, of course, not really the behavior of the photographers, but the number of them.  Everybody with their fancy new cameras trying to better their skills due to every training book and webcast out there telling you waterfalls are a great learning tool to becoming a better photographer.  Perhaps the final straw was at a set of falls where you had to walk down numerous sets of stairs that totaled around 200 steps(Going down, easy.  We'll discuss going up another time.) Once everyone made there way to the bottom platform, we all watched a guy jump the railing, run down to the bottom of the falls, stand in the stream, setup his tripod and start shooting away.....and away......and away........for about 40 minutes, all while he was in the shot of all the other people.  I will say this, temperance is alive and well, since while all of us grumbled to each other and expressed our general disgust with this person, he did walk out of there and with all his camera gear. That day did leave a sour taste in my mouth, but the next day restored my faith.  Once again, I woke up excited to explore.  I was hesitant to hit any falls in the area, but I realized in my several trips to the area, there were still some waterfalls that I hadn't seen for one reason or another.  I looked at a brochure I had and found 2 sets of falls that were smaller and were not well marked and decided to check them out.  Good move.  I spent 3 hours photographing 2 sets of falls and never saw another person.  I actually was lucky in several ways.  The first set of falls you actually had to walk through peoples backyards to get to.  It was still pretty dark, but I could for the most part make out the trail through the woods.  At least I thought I could. After about 10 minutes walking, I noticed a tree growing out of the ground at a 90 degree angle to the ground.  It seemed weird so I got close to check it out and I then found out the reason it was growing like it was.  It was actually growing out the side of a 40 ft wall of stone which lead to the bottom of the waterfalls.  2 more steps and it would have been a shot of an ambulance carrying off a stupid out of state amateur photographer who was in the area leaf peeping.  Well, this story ends happy since this waterfall was absolutely gorgeous.  3 stone walls surrounding it with morning sun coming up and no one but me there to catch it all.  Below is a shot of it as well as a shot of the aforementioned "yahoo" ruining everyone's shot.

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