Maramec Spring

July 31, 2012

Note:  This is the first in a series of extra editions that I’ll be posting occasionally, in addition to my regular weekend post.

After work Monday evening I drove to Maramec Spring Park near St. James, where I’ve had some luck photographing birds and deer, including fawns. My plan was to photograph a group of cedar waxwings that I had previously observed on a deadfall in the river. Upon arrival, I photographed the waxwings for a couple of hours and then headed over to the spring to capture a few landscape images just before sunset. I set up at the base of the first waterfall below the spring and continued shooting until dusk. Later that evening I reviewed the images and I was pleased with the results. Check out the tiny cypress tree growing at an angle right out of the middle of the fall head! Maramec Spring (yes, it is spelled that way, even though the river is spelled Meramec) is the fifth largest spring in Missouri and I hope this image conveys not only its power but its stunning beauty as well.

Some of you might wonder why the water looks so silky in this photograph. The image was captured with a shutter speed of a full 10 seconds so the movement of the water all blurs together while stationary objects, such as rocks and vegetation, stay sharp. A slow shutter speed is necessary for proper exposure when using a tight aperture, f/18 in this case, to achieve the required depth of field for a nice landscape shot. Personally, I love silky looking water in photographs of cascades and waterfalls so I always shoot them this way when possible but it has to be dead calm because blurry tree limbs and other vegetation aren’t so appealing. If the silky look it is not to your taste, I bet you can find other images of Maramec Spring on the internet that were shot with a faster shutter — smile!

A few of you have asked me about the changing colors of the box surrounding my blog each week. I’m using a theme called Duotone which I find very whimsical as it changes color based on the colors in my images. I never know what it will look like until I hit the “Preview” button and I get a big kick out of seeing what will come up on the screen. I suspect I could override the color choice of Duotone if I were not happy with its selection but so far I’ve left the device to its own devices.

Canon 1D Mark IV; Canon 17-40/f4 L Lens at 17mm; 10 sec @ f/18; ISO 100; B + W Circular Polarizer; RAW Capture; Feisol CF Tripod with Markins M10 Ballhead; Processed in Canon Digital Photo Professional (DPP)

Thanks for Looking


6 comments on “Maramec Spring”

  1. Just beautiful! Saw your work @ powder valley this last Saturday & while I love your wildlife work – your landscapes often really pull @ my heart-strings. This image is so much of what I LOVE about my home state! Thank you!

    • Thank you Michelle for the nice review of the spring cascade and I’m happy to hear you saw the exhibit. Missouri is indeed a beautiful place, especially the southern half, but maybe I’m biased as I grew up in the Ozarks.

  2. I must say that I really don’t much like this effect in the water, that is so prevalent…I like my waterfalls to be glittering with diamonds, not shining like silk…is there a special way you photographers get this effect?

    Wow, duotone…I’ve not heard ot if, maybe I should customize my WordPress blog, too!

  3. Can you believe that I skipped the para in which you explained how you get the silky effect? :)))) I actually bemoan the fact that there seem to be no images of moving water without this effect, these days….!

    • The effect is actually an artifact of shooting in soft, low light when the scene looks the best. When shooting in harsher, bright light, faster shutter speeds can be achieved and your “shimmering diamonds” can be captured. As you know from spending a little time with me, I can rarely be found with my camera except at the fringes of the day when slow shutter speeds rule so most of my landscapes are silky and smokey….the way I like ’em.

  4. I grew up in the ozarks too & also silky or sharp / fast or slow shutter speed / art is art & styles vary – I like this a lot for reasons I am unsure of…. 🙂

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