Omeru Falls

During the last 5 years travelling I've developed quite a fondness for photographing waterfalls, rapids and other fast moving bodies of water. So I've decided to hunt down New Zealand's waterfalls and take their pictures, and what better waterfall to start with than the one that is closest to home!

Omeru Falls is a small 5-6m tall waterfall located in the Omeru Pa Reserve which is on State Highway 16 just north of Kaukapakapa township on a nice day It would be a lovely spot for a picnic. The falls are actually one of three waterfalls on the reserve but the other two will have to wait for another day.

There's parking just off the road and it's then a completely non-harrowing, jandle friendly 5 minute walk from the car park.

 Resident Cows.

Resident Cows.

 Omeru Pa Reserve

Omeru Pa Reserve

Once I'd found the falls the shot was pretty obvious. It was pretty dark due to it being overcast and almost completely covered by taller trees, there was a fern in the foreground on the left catching just enough light for it to stand out from the rest of the bush and the waterfall gently falling to the pool below on the right. You can see the behind the lens setup shot on the right.

I used my Canon 7D with Sigma 10-20mm wide angle lens (set to 20mm, I probably should have used my 17-50mm as it's sharper at 20mm that the ultra wide angle) with a polariser attached all mounted on my Three Legged Thing Eric tripod. I set my aperture to f8 and fired off a few bracketed shots.

Above are the three bracketed shots, +/- two stops from the original central exposure. Shot one is the closest to the image I had in mind, and closest to how it looked at the time to the naked eye, but the shutter speed wasn't long enough to blur the waterfall enough and has left it looking rather sad. In a perfect world I'd have taken the second image and just darkened it two stops and worked from there, but the slow shutter speed and gentle breeze at the time has left the fern quite blurry. So in the end I've darkened shot two by two stops and used the waterfall and back ground from it  with the fern from shot one. I even lowered shot three by four stops and used the pool from it as it's slightly smoother and emphasised the falls reflection better. After that a series of levels and colour adjustments in photoshop, along with darkening the background even more left me with my final image.