Burney Falls, located at McArthur-Burney State Park. A beautiful park that has 910 acres of forest and five miles of stream-side and lake shoreline, including a portion of Lake Britton.
I was lacking some good waterfall photos in my photography collections so I decided to research waterfalls near Los Angeles (where I live). I’ve found a few good ones that made me want to go out and shoot. After running a Google Images search I’ve found the waterfall I really wanted capture – Burney Falls.
Unfortunately it was a little too far to just go for a day or two. So I waited. That was back in January.
At the end of April my wife and I went on an amazing road trip towards North Dakota for one of her best friends’ wedding in Bonanzaville.
The day before last (after almost a month on the roads) we have arrived at Burney Falls in California. I was really excited, even though we’ve seen a few other waterfalls beforehand. I mean, c’mon I have been planning to see
Burney Falls for a few months.
In all honesty, I think that Burney Falls is the most beautiful waterfall stretch I have ever seen in my life (so far) and driving 9 hours from Los Angeles is most definitely something every nature lover must do.
Although it was the most breathtaking waterfall, it was the most challenging and annoying one to capture (at least that day). There were SO MANY bugs in the area. Some small some huge. At some point a huge bug was walking on my shoulder and when I found out I did a strange dance to get it off of me. Bah!
Other than bugs, it was windy. Very bad for photo taking in front of a waterfall. Why? Because the waterfall was flowing and pouring down hard, something that created a lot of mist. Usually it’s not a problem, but when the wind can’t decide in which direction to blow and changes every 4 seconds it makes things really hard and frustrating. I couldn’t take photos of the waterfall from my desired location, which was at the base where the water meets the rocks, because the mist was all over my lens A L L T H E T I M E!
After trying hard; cleaning the lens every 4 seconds and getting soaked I have given up. I went back up to my wife and expressed my frustration. I looked and felt pretty sad about it.
We went on a short walk on the side of the river, just a few feet away from the waterfall. Not really inspired, I took a few forced shots and we headed back towards the waterfall. We said we’ll go back in the morning with hopes for better conditions.
I looked at the waterfall and just couldn’t let it go. There was no way I’m leaving without my photos! I decided to give it another try. I went down to the water and positioned my Dolica tripod. The wind was slightly better but still challenging since I was capturing a panoramic photo.
It was a battle against time and nature itself. Slowly I figured out a system to overcome my problems. I was continuously cleaning my lens when the mist blew my way. Once the wind changed direction I removed the cloth and took 1-2 shots. I needed at least 10 images for my panoramic composition.
I’ll never forget that moment when I radioed (we used walkie talkies to communicate) my wife and told her “I’m done!”
In the process I lost a lens cloth that fell in the water (I picked it up don’t worry), got grossed out by bugs crawling all over me, got really wet, got my camera and equipment wet and learned to never give up.
Don’t ever give up on what you want to achieve. Even if you get frustrated and upset there’s always a way to accomplish your goal. You’ll adapt and overcome any obstacle.
This photo is my proof of that.
Limited Edition Prints
Date Taken: 05/13/2017
Camera: Nikon D800e
Lens: Nikkor 24-120mm
Print size: 70″x30″
Edition Number: 1/10
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