Lower Kelly's Falls

view large (c'mon I know ya want too and I promise its not a dodgy low res version)

I am sure I could come back here in 12 months and it would be a completely different setup with logs and branches moved about by the water flow.

What is amazing is the sheer size of the tree trunks that are strewn around the falls, this one, which I have dubbed the divider is quite large but probably 1/4 the size on one just off to the right of this shot. How they get there is pretty amazing too, there must need to be alot of water coming over the falls to push them around.

Kellys Falls reminds me very much of the National Falls in the Royal National Park, which is not all that surprising since that particular falls is only 30 mins drive up the coast from here, but they have very similar rock formations and are similar heights, (based on my super accurate thumb in the air kind of measurement 😉 )

The trek in is pretty short, however there is a bit of rock climbing required and the mandatory trust your life to a dodgy bit of rope that someone has tied to a sapling which is clutching to life in the muddy soil 🙂 however it is well worth it and there is actually two falls in close proximity so more bang for your buck (or climb)

One of the hard things about shooting waterfalls is actually 1) getting to the place where you want to compose your shot and 2) getting your darn tripod to be in the right position based on all the freaking uneven rockage. There is also the slippery-ass factor too, thats just thrown in there to test your nerves, joints and bones 😉

I wanted this log in a slightly different possie, however the final composition was dictated by the rocks, minimisation of the possibility of ending up in that murky-ass water and how long I could sit with a pointy-ass rock trying to split me in half ;-(
It is a blended image in that I took three frames of different exposures to capture the highlights up top but also maintain the shadow detail in the rocks, water and trees.

Exif love:
3 images manually blended together in +Adobe Photoshop :
D750 coupled with 16-35mm f4 @ 16mm Aperture: f/14 and Shutter Speed: 13s (normal exposure), 1.6s (highlights, just that bright bit up top) and 30s (shadows, for those dark areas in the trees, rocks and water)
ISO 100
out front – Hoya CPL


48 thoughts on “Lower Kelly's Falls

  1. top image, thanks to a tip off from you I walked straight passed this tree 🙂 and it and you got a mention on the website 😀
    the second falls is a must visit !
    cheers mate

  2. Beautiful capture +Gerard Blacklock!! You had me in stitches reading your description!! Too funny!! It's been ages now but I think we've been horse riding near those falls and so looking down at them! This is a great perspective and well composed, without falling into the drink! Lol 😉

  3. Love the sharpness and natural look. You managed to avoid the HDR look when you blended as well. Wish I had your self control… 🙂 The exposure seems long given nothing but a CPL. Excellent shot. Thanks for sharing. Cheers.

  4. Stunningly beautiful! Great work, every detail is interesting, and your description made me get inside this fantastic place, has the flavor of adventure… nature is amazing, it's like opening a jewelry box with a mountains of jewels and overflowing of precious stones, and have the strong desire to dive on! Thank you for sharing this +Gerard Blacklock

  5. cheers +Graeme Andrew , the 1.6s exposure is probably close to the true exposure for the scene, however once you point into the shadows things getting pretty dim. Re, the blend, the problem with most automated HDR methods is that the machine is thinking for you, quite often , like this scene you only need to maintain the highlights for a small part of the image hence a manual blend comes up much better than the machine trying to pick apart the whole scene (that's where you can get some HDR madness). Alot of what I do in post actually returns shadows to a scene since these are what makes a 'HDR' scene more natural.

  6. +Grant Galbraith
    depends, there is a section where you need to scramble down with the help of a rope, but there might be a way around that, only a little bit worse than National Falls, if you have been there….
    I think if you take your time and get dirty you will be OK 🙂

  7. Thanks Gerard… agree it's easy to creep into that HDR madness. You have it spot on for this one. Beautiful image. Let me know if you write up your thoughts on the move from the 7000 to the 750. Love reading your blog. Cheers

  8. +Gerard Blacklock the horseback trail ride (is there any other way? ;-)) would take you through the forest and up to Stanwell Tops for an ice-cream (courtesy of Mr Whippy – couldn't pass the opportunity for a choc top!) before heading back to the property. I don't know if they are still doing it these days.

  9. Otford Farm looks like the place, they have several rides, one of which is Kellys Falls – I reckon my Daughter would love one of these 🙂 I think I may have b'day pressie sorted 😉

  10. +Gerard Blacklock that's the riding place alright! The trail leader was great and the horses well behaved too. Mind you this is going back to the late 90's. We (My better half & I) have ridden more recently down at Kangaroo Valley. They have some cool rides through rainforest down there too. The road to the property can be a bit rough but we've made it in a Toyota Echo (when dry). That place is called Kangaroo Valley Horses & is located in Budgong. The ladies who run it (Deb & Vanessa) are great & so are their horses! You can check out their website. Just another option if you ever plan on spending a weekend further South! 😉

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