2020—Firehole Falls

Capturing a unique image of an iconic view can be a challenge. Firehole Falls, along the Firehole River in Yellowstone National Park is a thundering rush of water that pushes through a narrow gap between rocky cliffs. Many see the falls in the summer but in the winter, there are far fewer visitors so not many can appreciate the view with snowy shores and icicles dripping over the water. Still rarer yet are the views of the wildly rushing waters, slowed to appear as silk by a camera. There are a few ways to do this in camera. Among them, a slow shutter speed can create a silky texture; a 6- or 10-Stop Neutral Density filter can result in a much longer shutter duration causing an even silkier look; or a simple method using the camera’s multi-exposure mode, e.g., 10 separate photographs merged into one. Using a Nikon camera set to a 10 image multiple exposure and setting the camera’s timer to a couple of second delay, all ten photographs will be taken in sequence without having to touch the shutter release. They are merged in camera, into a single RAW image. Beware, however, the Nikon mirrorless Z model cameras can do this but the resulting image is a JPEG, not a RAW image. I learned that the hard way. This image was taken from the edge of the cliff overlooking the falls with a Nikon D5 and a Nikkor 80-400mm lens at 390mm.

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