5/31/12

Adventure and a lost world

Lost World

       Adventure brings a lot of images and ideas to mind when mentioned. The idea is one that made history and countless discoveries. The term has become quite confused in the modern age of today. Adventure is risking ourselves to perhaps find something new, but not knowing if our efforts and unavoidable dangers will lead to anything at all. The introduction of what adventure means is intended to set the mood for the story that follows.

       Weeks before Robin and I left for the Pictured Rocks NLS I had heard a tale of a hidden gem within the park. The Pictured Rocks is known for its stunning shoreline, but it is also known, almost equally well, for its incredible waterfalls. Robin and I had already walked most of the shoreline and had witnessed all of the waterfalls, or so we thought. The tale led to research and the research led to topography maps of the park. These topography maps showed an area of extreme interest where a 'small' river eventually made its way to Miners Lake. The topo-map showed a steep cliff that passed through the river, we thought "this must be the place" to ourselves. We made note of its general location and put it at the top of our list for things to explore when visiting the park.

       Time goes by and it is the day of the trip. Robin and I arrive at the entrance leading to Miners Lake and begin to make out way in. Covered with a long sleeve shirt, full pants, bug nets, waterproof pants with jackets, enough bug spray to wipe-out every tick, mosquito, etc.... in the park, and a can of bear mace. We Take a baring point and set off. There is obviously no trail leading to the possible waterfall; bush-whacking is the only way to go. Hours go by.

After traversing log after log, dodging bush after bush, and avoiding swamp after swamp we begin to hear water in the distance. We knew we were getting close to something promising, but just when our attitudes began to shift towards excitement, we find two piles of fresh bear scat. Slightly intimidated and a little nervous, we decide to push forward. The sound of water grows louder and louder, we eventually made our way to a steep hill. After reaching the top we notice a 15-20' elegant waterfall gently cascading down the face of a fairly steep rock slab. This waterfall was very beautiful, however we had climbed too far, the sound of water was still too loud, there was another waterfall further down, we just knew it. 

       Robin and I followed the river down a little way and soon stood at the precipice of a massive drop. There seemed to be no way down, but I had noticed several yellow swamp flowers from above and I knew I needed to reach the bottom to find the angle of view that I desired. A small less-steep ravine called our names and had a few sketchy roots to grab onto to hopefully make our way down safely. The roots broke for me, of course, but I landed safely. Robin had the benefit of me and my fully extended tripod to traverse the ravine, she made it look easy and reached the bottom safely and softly. From there we began exploring the area and admired the waterfall cascading over the precipice which was truly awe-inspiring, at least a 40 foot drop. I soon spotted the flowers I had seen from the top and began to push my compositional abilities past the comfort zone as to capture the image I had seen in my 'mind's eye' when I first noticed the flowers. The image above is more than a photograph to me. It is a meaningful representation of the 'mind's eye,' the effort put forth by Robin and I, the emotional experience of it all and the memories we will hold on to forever. I hope everyone enjoys the photograph and the story. All questions, comments and concerns can be sent to me at jbphotography2@yahoo.com

Technical details: Canon 7D, Canon 10-22mm lens (@14mm), 3-stop neutral density filter, circular polarizer filter, ISO 100, F/11, 5 Seconds.

       

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