Gorge Wonder

Fillmore Glen Autumn

Ephemeral Waterfall Over the Years

Between bridges six (6) and seven (7) on the Gorge trail a cascade comes down the canyon wall. Mid-summer this brook can dry out, the waterfall disappears leaving this spot naked of water.

Taken over a period of thirteen (13) years, the cascade was alive and well autumn-time. This year, after the summer drought our autumn rains were sparse, the flow is the lowest photographed.

Copyright 2022 All Right Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Waterfall Textures

Unrestrained chaos at the foot of Arizona’s highest waterfall

I received notice of IStock acceptance of select photographs from my last posting, “Wilderness Textures”, was accepted.  Click to view my IStock Portfolio, including  photographs from today’s posting included in the acceptance notice.

In this post I move up the Reavis Creek canyon from where the last posting, “Wilderness Textures”, was sited to the foot of Reavis Falls.  With the first photograph you look up at the falls from the head of the canyon carved by the creek over eons.  The rock wall, the canyon “head”, is thick with microorganisms, fungi, mosses.

Reavis Creek Water and Light – CLICK ME for more abstract photography.

In the foreground is a jumble of boulders, some washed down at flood time, spread wide at the bottom of the falls, piled to a jumbled height of 15 feet. 

Talus is the geological term for this formation.  Derived from the Latin word for slope (talutum) the definition, from the Oxford English Dictionary, is “A sloping mass of detritus lying at the base of a cliff or the like consisting of material fallen from its face.” 

 

The ankle bone is also called talus, from the French word for heel, I bring it up because climbing this chaotic, unstable jumble is a way to break your ankle.  The route to Reavis Falls, a climb up one side of Lime Mountain then down the other on a non-existent (lightly marked) trail, is rated difficult and impossible with a broken leg or ankle.  I was alone and very careful to check each rock for stability before putting my weight on it.

A climb of the talus pile was necessary to view the pool at the waterfall base, for this photograph.

A more artistic vertical format version, below, captured with the Canon EF 100mm “macro” lens.  All shots are using the Kodak DCS pro SLR-c (the “c” designated Canon lens compatibility) and a Manfrotto studio tripod with a hydrostatic ball head.  The horizontal format shot was captured with a Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens.   I prefer the vertical version, artistically, because the talus jumble is all but cropped out while the upper corner of the angular basalt boulder is left as an interesting focal point.  The boulder, not being in the spray, is in focus to contrast with the basalt wall behind the water.

I captured a series of shots from this precarious vantage point, working up from the pool to the brim of the waterfall.

My goals was a composite photo of the falls.  I have yet to succeed with this project.  Maybe I will give it one more shot in spite of having learned the hard lesson the best photographs are a single moment captured in a single frame.

I find in this series the vertical aspect is more artistic.  The water volume, of the falls, at this time of year offers only the finest of sprays with most of the basalt rock wall only moist.  The 100mm “macro” lens allowed me to include only the falling water with a bit of the moist wall for contrast.

In the following version I experimented with color, moving from the narrow range of hues, to more contrast.

Please browse my reasonably priced stock photography. License a photograph, download and use it for your website or blog. Click this link to browse all my Getty IStock Photography offerings.

Or click this link or any photograph or this link to select a print with custom framing from my “Textures” Fine Art Gallery.

Here’s another of my Arizona wilderness adventures, “Racing the Sun.”

Wilderness Textures

Abstract Beauty of the Superstition Wilderness of Arizona

These abstracts are some of my photographic output from four days and nights spent alone in the remote eastern Superstition Wilderness.  For the first three days I met not a soul, all these images were captured on a single afternoon spent in the canyon below Reavis Falls, a jumble of landslides, flood debris and boulders.  There is no trail.  The few people who enter the canyon must negotiate around boulders, crossing Reavis Creek many times.

Reavis Creek Water and Light – CLICK ME for more abstract photography.

My backpack kit included a full sized Manfrotto studio tripod with hydrostatic ball head.  The benefits more than outweighed the effort (I was a lot younger in 2008) when the Canon EF 100mm (macro) lens is mounted on a  Kodak dSLR body, allowing me to take crisp shots.  The tripod legs can be adjusted to precise positions for stability.

Reavis Creek Water and Light – CLICK ME for more abstract photography.

I can feel the bright afternoon desert spring sunshine in this photos.  It was after the spring floods, the flow of Reavis Creek and ample still but slow.  Gathering in pools over the rough stones of the creek bed, the water absolutely clear.

Reavis Creek Water and Light – CLICK ME for more abstract photography.

I held the shot over many minutes, capturing ever changing diffraction patterns.

We see in all these photos, not a homogenous blend of stones from a shared geology.  Reavis Creek washes over diverse geologies: volcanic, ancient igneous extrusions, sedimentary and metamorphic are jumbled together.

Reavis Creek Water and Light – CLICK ME for more abstract photography.

This is a series of photographs of smooth, white igneous boulders with shadows of  still leafless sycamore and cottonwood trees.

Reavis Creek Water and Light – CLICK ME for more abstract photography.

Graceful shadows

Reavis Creek Water and Light – CLICK ME for more abstract photography.

Strong, demonstrative shadows.

Reavis Creek Water and Light – CLICK ME for more abstract photography.

A leaning cairn, not a trail marker….

Reavis Creek Water and Light – CLICK ME for more abstract photography.

A 15 foot high jumble of stones piled at the bottom of Reavis Falls, carried over by the floods.

Reavis Creek Water and Light – CLICK ME for more abstract photography.

A metamorphic conglomerate stone….

Reavis Creek Water and Light – CLICK ME for more abstract photography.

Another metamorphic conglomerate.

Reavis Creek Water and Light – CLICK ME for more abstract photography.

Please browse my reasonably priced stock photography. License a photograph, download and use it for your website or blog. Click this link to browse all my Getty IStock Photography offerings.

Or click this link or any photograph or this link to select a print with custom framing from my “Textures” Fine Art Gallery.

Here’s another of my Arizona wilderness adventures, “Racing the Sun.”

Zion Narrows IX

highwater?

Three long exposures of the Virgin River, long may it flow. The Narrows, Zion National Park, Springdale, Utah

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Zion Narrows VIII

highwater?

Anywhere outside the water challenged southern Utah desert the Virgin River would be a creeks. The volume of flow does not exceed our Fall Creek, the largest stream of the Finger Lakes Region. Here I present two identical long exposures of the river backed by cross bedded Navajo Sandstone. The Narrows, Zion National Park, Springdale, Utah

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Zion Narrows VII

highwater?

Mysterious alcoves through cross-bedded Navajo Sandstone, 15 feet, or more, above the streambed. I use mysterious in the sense I wished the formations were mysterious, standing there with nowhere to climb, witnessing the effects of floods that high above. The location is The Narrows just above Orderville Canyon junction, Zion National Park, Springdale, Utah

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Zion Narrows VII

laying around in The Narrows

This polished basalt, the product of volcanic eruptions and eons-long weathering, is common on the Virgin River bed. Zion National Park, of The Narrows just above Orderville Canyon junction.

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Zion Narrows VI

long and narrow

I combined two 50 mm exposures for this view of an interesting rock and beetling canyon walls. Upstream from here it is a day’s walk to reach ground safe from flash floods, downstream at least one hour. Narrows of Zion National Park, Utah

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Zion Narrows V

narrow and tall

This long exposure blurs the two distant human figures looking downstream toward junction of Orderville Canyon, around corner. Narrows of Zion National Park, Utah

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Zion Narrows IV

cross-bedding

Careful attention to hidden boulders is essential when hiking the Narrows of Zion National Park, Utah

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved