Tag Archives: Expeditions
This post was really quite a long time in the making as I really wasn’t sure what to write. I went to Northern Arkansas near Jasper/Compton back in April of this year hoping to catch outstanding waterfalls during what is normally one of the peak rainfall months. Sadly this was not to be as rain was sparse and not consistent enough to build much flow anywhere. Like most things, it is really a gamble until you get there but we decided to make the most of it and still went to the various falls that we had planned to visit. Some were just a trickle and some were not running at all but the scenery is top notch regardless.
I hope to be back next year if the rain is willing as several of these falls are simply amazing with decent water flow. I also plan to head down to Petit Jean State Park again to visit Cedar Falls again, another lovely area. I have included a selection of photographs from this trip below and instead of rambling on I’ll just let you enjoy them!
As I was finishing up packing for my upcoming trip to Arkansas [I leave tomorrow morning!] I looked at my pack and thought it might be useful to snap a photo and write a quick post on it to address a common question I get… what to bring on a nature-hiking photo trip! Here is a shot of my photo backpack from my iPhone. Excuse the quality as my camera was packed and featured in the shot. :)
This is fully loaded for 5 days of shooting waterfalls and nature in the Arkansas Ozarks! So what is all that junk?
Top Row: Nikon 45mm PC-E and Nikon 85mm PC-E lenses
Middle Row: Microfiber cleaning cloth and lens cleaning items, RRS BH55 tripod head [in bag for transport, helps tripod balance better on bag], B+W 2 stop and 6 stop ND filters, B+W Circular Polarizer
Bottom Row: Compass, Remote Shutter Release, Nikon D3s w/ Nikon 24mm PC-E attached as well as RRS L-Bracket attached, spare battery
Left Side Pocket: Camelbak water pouch
Right Side Pocket: Spare memory cards, another cleaning cloth, and hex wrenches for tripod/head/plates/etc
Aside from all of that I usually throw some granola bars into the top pack. The Lowepro Pro Trekker 300 AW has an integrated rain cover that packs into the bottom and can easily be deployed if the weather gets nasty. It also features a tripod mount so I can strap the legs right to the back of the pack. The key reason I went with this pack vs a standard backpack is the harness. This pack has all the normal adjustments for shoulder/waistbelt/etc that a normal backpacking pack has which makes it very easy to adjust the load to ride better so the heavy weight doesn’t break you the first day! It is not as good as a an actual backpacking pack but there is still a bit of a product void on the market for one of those converted to have the needed compartments, etc for camera gear. I’ve seen a few try with mixed reviews.
Total weight of the pack as configured is 19.6 pounds and that is without water or snacks in it or the tripod legs attached. I’d estimate around 26 lbs with the above as the Gitzo legs are fairly light. So when deployed, ie when shooting, I drop a good 9-10 lbs + tripod out of the bag and into my hands and the bag gets significantly lighter. It’s not ideal but things add up pretty fast when you’re trying to cover a lot of areas! I will be photographing waterfalls throughout Northern Arkansas over the next week and with previous experience I decided that the 3 tilt-shift lenses would be most appropriate. Everything else listed is “supporting equipment” which I’m stuck with no matter what I take.
Hope everyone has a good weekend and I will be back next week with photos, stories, and hopefully not a sore back!
In part one of my article we covered several Arkansas waterfalls including Paige Falls and Broadwater Hollow Falls. Let’s wrap this up today with Sweden Creek Falls, Hammerschmidt Falls, Lichen Falls, and The Glory Hole Waterfall.
As some folks know, I try to take time each year to get down to Arkansas to take photos of the beautiful country and more specifically, the Ozarks and numerous waterfalls in the area. I had the good fortune to continue this trend last May taking a few days away from the daily grind to make the trip from Omaha down to Jasper, Arkansas to once again chase waterfalls.
As promised, here is the second part of my Nebraska Waterfalls series! In the first part of the series I discussed my trip to what is one of my favorite places in the state, Snake Falls and the Snake River area. In this part we will cover the other hidden gems near Valentine, Nebraska that most of the state doesn’t know exists! This includes Smith Falls, Fort Falls, Turkey Feather Falls, and Upper Berry Falls.
Most folks will read the title to this post and wonder if I hit my head on something while out shooting or if this is a typo but I assure you it is not! When you think about waterfalls often you think of scenic places such as Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, or Colorado… not Nebraska. Despite contrary belief their really are waterfalls in Nebraska and all of them are located within an hour of eachother near the small town of Valentine, Nebraska in the North-Central portion of the state near the South Dakota border. My goal was to document that my lovely homestate does in fact have waterfalls and they while they don’t quite compete with what I’ve seen in other states, they do hold their own for Midwest waterfalls and unlike certain unnamed Southern states, whom I shall not name, these ones flow year-round because they are spring-fed which means anytime you go you will see water!