Stones In The Flow

With the prodigious winter snow finally melting off in the Sierra, I wandered up to the Sonora Pass country a few days ago.

The light was pretty harsh, but I was attracted to this diagonal line of fallen rocks at the base of this waterfall, locally known as Stair Falls.

Nikon D-7100
Nikkor 70-200

Your thoughts a re always appreciated. :slight_smile:

Preston, I love the warm color of those rocks they look great. It also looks like you may not have used a polarizing filter here, and if thatis the case, I think doing so produced some very nice looking specular highlights on the rocks as well. I think the squarish aspect ratio works well composition-ally with the diagonal line of rocks.

I could also see another crop that takes a slice off the bottom that excludes the small pool in the LRC, I did a scroll crop, and I think that works pretty well too. I think that tiny falls and the pool in the LRC are not anywhere near as important as the water in the URC, and a crop like this would eliminate some negative along the bottom.

This is a nice little scene and turned out well given the light conditions. I would agree with @Ed_MGuirk on his crop suggestion, eliminating the very bottom pool. The rich red rock looks good against the white water.

This is most interesting, Preston. Your choice of shutter speed makes me think. As a rule of thumb, I would prefer the water to have a smoother texture but I think you have achieved something else on the upper right corner. I really like that “waterfall” look in that area. The lower left corner, on the other hand, does not do much for me.

I am leaving for the backcountry in two days. The snow melt is making me a little nervous (I really need to get that mountaineering training - ice axe, crampons, and what not) but I will go as far as I am comfortable and just have a good time. I hope the mosquitoes are not too bad.

Nice find Preston - and great to see an image post from you! I think I will go against the grain and say that I like the water at the bottom right. In fact, it completes the scene by letting the water “drain”. In other words the diagonal flow (that you saw) and the flowing water all leads to the outlet, or drain, at the bottom. Even the highlights in the water LL, all flows towards that little pool.

The shutter speed works here as well, especially given the bright direct light. Anything slower and you probably would have blown some highlights. Great job controlling the exposure.


You’ve gone against all the so called rules ( rules are meant to be broken ) and achieved a nice end product. I usually prefer smoother water but your choice of ss works. I can hear the water cascading amongst the rocks. I also like the unpolarized look. It imparts a time of day reference. And I also agree with Lon about the LRC.

Thanks for your kind comments, everyone!