Leadmines Clough

Here’s my second practice run with Nightfalls, my waterfalls at night personal project. The technique is quite challenging as I endeavour to portray the emotional feeling engendered by being out in these wild places in the full darkness of night.

Exposures are necessarily long and I’m finding a method that appears to work. Arriving at the location at least a couple of hours before sunset I get to know the spirit of the place, taking a few shots along the way. I then settle on my final composition before darkness falls and then simply wait.

My aim is to shoot when the western and eastern horizons are the same darkness, usually by this time I cannot see my camera and the waterfall is nothing but a feint presence in the darkness. However the overwhelming roar of even the smallest tumble of water over rock is totally immersive.

Moving to another location, even re-composing the image is not really an option in this level of darkness so I need to be especially careful not to alter the focus, zoom or position of my camera as I await my time. The exposure can be up to an hour in length followed by an equal amount of time as the camera applies the noise reduction processes.

This shot was taken in the local countryside and I’ve done my best to show how the place felt to me as I stood in stillness for several hours.

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