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There are places I photograph that, for the most part, I’m content with the images I’ve gathered. Burney Falls is one of those places. I don’t think I’ve gotten THE image yet…but I’m happy with what I have in my portfolio and the location has dropped down to a ‘conditional shoot,’ meaning if conditions are right…I would go back and shoot.
I’ve told myself the past two years, “If it snows a lot…then I’m going to go shoot Burney Falls.”
Well it snowed…A LOT the past week…and now its time to put up or shut up.
If you read my report from Oregon you know I HATE driving in the snow. I figured though, if I could take the van of all vehicles, and its non-snow touring tires, into some pretty hairy spots full of snow and ice…then my jeep should be a lot easier.
Still I wasn’t thrilled with the idea, and conditions had to be ideal for me to make the attempt.
By ideal I mean, snow all night the evening before, clearing in the morning for a few hours to allow the plows to do their work…and no chance of snow during my drive time. THEN, and only then would I give it a go.
The conditions played ball perfectly…and forced my hand. It was go time.
I had packed my winter gear and camera equipment in the car…and was able to leave directly from work.
There was a lot more snow on the road than I thought…..Even though it had been sunny for hours, and plow crews had passed through the area several times and were now parked on the roadside happily drinking scotch, I mean, uhm coffee.
Put down the thermos…there is STILL snow out there to be plowed gentlemen.
When I departed Redding, I assumed I would arrive at Burney Falls with plenty of time to stroll around and look for where I wanted to shoot from….BUT with this unplanned snow on the ground, and the rate at which traffic was navigating through it…I was going to be lucky if I made it at ALL before dark.
4:40 PM- I rolled into the Burney Falls SP parking area. The thermometer in the car read 13 degrees.
There was actually another car in the lot, belonging to some hikers…who were on their way out…leaving the entire park to me.
Quickly, as the night began its descent on the park, I set to getting my cold weather gear on.
Why is it that boots always decide to be finicky when you need to get them on in a hurry? For whatever, cruel reasons…my left boot decided to lock the top portion of my foot in a death-grip, while refusing the heel portion access to the warmth that lay below….the boot was half-on if you will.
It pissed me off.
The snow was too deep for me to just wear hiking boots, and I was in too much of a damn hurry to throw the demon boot across the icy parking lot where I could scream insults at it, and teach it a lesson, before slamming it into a tree two or three times for good measure.
All I could muster was some teeth clinched insults…as I angrily stomped my foot on the ground to try and force the foot in.
“GET IN THAT BOOT! You Stupid $#)(#(@&**!”
Finally…the foot found pay dirt and I was suited up…ready for action. Let’s do this.
The hikers I saw had already paved the trail to the base of the falls…so I was able to quickly maneuver the path to the base.
Burney Falls is a tough falls to shoot in my opinion…in nice weather. In 2 feet plus of snow…it’s a whole new ballgame. The mist, which is a constant struggle to deal with under ideal circumstances, becomes heavy in the below freezing temperatures and lingers in the air, just waiting to freeze to something.
Lens and glasses will do fine.
The polarizer I normally use was having serious issues with mist, so I took it off and put it in my pocket. My glasses I normally use to see with were now coated with mist, and began to freeze over as well making sight difficult.
Shooting this close to the base of the falls wasn’t going to work. I needed to move.
My favorite spots to shoot the falls from lays along the creek about 35 yards from the falls. In summer, getting to this spot requires traversing a field of lava rocks, and a maze of trees and shrubs. It’s not too difficult…because you can see where you’re walking.
When two feet of snow cover the area, each boulder becomes a potential ankle snapping hazard. Shrubs, cloaked in snow, long to grab hold of a leg, and fling you face first into the powder. Trees hold up piles of snow, waiting to fall on you and your gear should you move the correct branch and trigger its descent.
Even if I was careful maneuvering the maze of trees…I’d have triggered some snow fall. I was running late on light…so I took the bull rush approach.
Let it be noted, the bull rush approach isn’t fun.
Pile upon pile of snow fell on my head, and unfortunately…my gear too. I tried to keep the camera dry, and succeeded (sort of) in keeping the front of the lens dry….but a big pile of snow landed right on the back of the camera…filling the eye-piece with ice.
Taking photos is interesting without the use of the eye-piece….it takes a lot of trial and error….which is made nearly impossible as mist begins too settle on your lens, your feet shake from balancing on two icy rocks, and your gloves are of no longer of use to keep your hands warm because what little dry areas they had left is being used to wipe your lens free from icy mist.
Oh yeah…and it’s about 10 degree outside….and I’m the only one in the park.
Taking photos is cake.
Once I’d done my best to capture the falls from my little spot on the creek…I made my way back to the trail…making sure I triggered any snow that remained in the trees to fall on my head as I passed under. I especially like the part when the snow went down my coat onto my back….that was swell.
Even though I was just above miserable, I stopped and took a few more snaps before I went back up the trail…but by this time it was dark, stars were out, and the temps were dropping rapidly….any part of my head that had gotten wet with mist or snow was an icicle.
I like the word cold….but it really doesn’t do justice to the environment I was in.
I was real happy to finally get back to the car…although I almost slipped on the frozen parking lot and ended it all, 2 feet from my car door. HAHA….I would’ve survived the frozen Narnia-esque plow through the frozen wasteland of the falls, only to end up in a jangled heap right by my car door. That would’ve been just like me.
The drive home was slow….and temperatures got as low as 1 degree….I stuck my arm out the window for a minute so I could ‘feel what 1 degree was like’
1 degree sucks. It took me 25 minutes to re-feel what normal was like.
I wasn’t thrilled with everything I got photo-wise. However, I was proud of my endurance to make the drive, and then actually go photograph the falls…two years ago I never would’ve considered it. I know I can do better, and I plan on returning this weekend with Stephen Oachs to try again…and this time I’m bringing waders.
For some reason this image reminds me of Aslan the lion in Narnia...
Maybe Milo is thinking of who he will be when he grows up .
Yarn: Karen's hand-dyes
Pattern - DYO - Narnia Gullwing
As my daughter says: the first thing we all loved about the place we call Narnia was the giant boulders on the water. But over time the magic hidden woods with labyrinths of cedar-needle covered paths through mossy rocks has become almost more dear to us than the outer Narnia.
And as my sister says, it's almost impossible to capture that magic in the camera. But it's also almost impossible not to try anyways. This one comes the closest for me, for this trip.
The view from home after the recent snowfalls - A winter wonderland of white.
Hertfordshire Project 52 #5a
I know they are just branches, but I liked the colours and blurriness\bokeh! =)
An incredible view on the road to the Postalm ski resort in the Salzkammergut Austria.
Another addition to my Autobiographical series of fictional characters and their books. This one I just had to do because every time I walk through the forest I feel that I'm in Narnia. If you have any suggestions of books that I should use for this series please let me know, I'd love to hear what you come up with.
Now to warm my toes.
“It isn't Narnia, you know,” sobbed Lucy. “It's you. We shan't meet you there. And how can we live, never meeting you?”
“But you shall meet me, dear one,” said Aslan.
“Are are you there too, Sir?” said Edmund.
“I am,” said Aslan. “But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.”
Week 9 Illusion- The Teleidoscope
Bertolini Photography © All Rights Reserved. 2011. Do not use, copy or edit any of my photographs without written permission
Castle Hill is a location and a high country station in New Zealand's South Island. It is located at an altitude of 700 metres, close to State Highway 73 between Darfield and Arthur's Pass. It is private property and located within the Kura Tawhiti Conservation Area.
The hill was so named because of the imposing array of limestone boulders in the area reminiscent of an old, run-down stone castle.
I went to the great New Sim "Narnia" ! :)
** slurl.com/secondlife/Chronicles of Narnia/7/34/9 **
This was built for the Mocathalon over on Mocpages, but I just now got around to posting it here on Flickr. :)
More pictures on Mocpages! www.mocpages.com/moc.php/357449
Please, don't use this image on websites, blogs etc. without my permission. :copyright: All rights reserved
My grandaughter is doing an assignment for school on "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe", and asked me if I could take a picture of her and her two brothers for this with a special request. Her request was, and I quote, " use your magic to make it look like Narnia". Not sure wether I succeeded, but with no trees and no snow I don't think I did too bad. She was pleased.
Back to Narnia~
Have you looked out the secret door
at the back of your wardrobe lately......?
Inspired by C.S. Lewis "The Chronicles of Narnia"