Rodney Campbell's Blog

Joffre Amphitheatre…

by on Dec.29, 2015, under Life, Photography

Surrounding the spectacular curved waterfall of Joffre Falls is a magnificent natural amphitheatre. It’s hard to convey just how beautiful this place is, nor how inconceivably rich the colour is on these magnificent rock walls.

The amphitheatre has this lovely plunge pool at the base of the falls and this crazy mound of gravel in the centre of the area. The area is quite large and open to the sky so looking up past the top of the falls and the rim of the gorge is very very bright. Whilst the walls on the right of the falls are in shadow those on the left are being hit by the low sun which is drifting downwards to the right. This presents a huge contrast and exposure issue when trying to shoot in this wider space.

Joffre Narrows

Joffre Narrows

NIKON D750 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm, 2 sec at f/16, ISO 100 x 14 Frames

My plan was to shoot a tighter panorama using a long focal length so I only included the lower walls which weren’t being directly lit by the sun. I would also of course not include the sky which was many many stops brighter than the scene down below.

So standing near the centre of the mound of gravel in the centre of the natural amphitheatre I setup my tripod and the D750 with the 24-70 at 70mm. Fourteen (14) vertical frames later I have this panorama which takes in the view from slightly to the left of the falls right around to almost behind me on the right.

Note: These photographs (especially the wider shots) look much better when larger – so click any of the images below to see larger versions in an inline overlay slideshow gallery viewer.

To give you a feel for the more complete view the following panorama was taken from roughly the same position. This time at a much wider focal length of 24mm. The twelve (12) frames here encompass around a 300˚ field of view with just the narrow entrance to the gorge behind me excluded from the view. I probably should have taken some bracketed frames to try and preserve some of the sky and the almost blown out areas on the upper gorge walls in full sun on the left. Hindsight is a wonderful thing :)…

Joffre Amphitheatre

Joffre Amphitheatre

NIKON D750 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm, 2 sec at f/16, ISO 100 x 12 Frames

My daughter and I had every intention of going for a swim in this very inviting plunge pool. The day was still very hot even down here in the shade at the bottom of the gorge. However the water was… lets just say it was VERY brisk… We waded around for a bit only going as high as our upper thighs. Plus those small sharp rocks which cover the whole area including under the water were a bit too painful underfoot.

Opposing Forces

Opposing Forces

NIKON D750 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm, 4 sec at f/16, ISO 100

This young couple however were brave enough to swim out and across to the base of the waterfall. A idealic location if ever I’d seen one. I took some photos for them using their camera and took some for myself with mine as well.

Braving the Cold

Braving the Cold

NIKON D750 + 24.0-70.0 mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm, 1/4 sec at f/9, ISO 400

It was getting late (almost 5PM) so it was time to pack up and start making our way out.

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