I had twin objectives of photographing some waterfalls, and also some Fall foliage. I knew the leaf situation would be a crap shoot with the weird Fall we're having, but I was sure I could get some good waterfall shots if I got there early enough. You have to get to the falls before the full sun starts hitting it or the highlights will blow out. No detail in the water makes for a dull photo. Since Joe Tourist doesn't like to roll out of bed before 8:00 am or so, I figured arriving at sunrise would give me time to avoid the crowds and get the right light.
Happiness is arriving at the Hooker Falls parking area and finding it completely empty! In fact, I didn't see a single soul until after 9:00 am. I had everything all to myself for the first 2 1/2 hours of my visit. I'm not anti-social, but having to remove the guy with the loud Hawaiian shirt from a waterfall photo with software can get tedious.
I made it to three different falls before the sun started getting too high. The first was Hooker Falls above. Next was Triple Falls, pictured below. (Click on photos to enlarge.)
The last one I got to was High Falls. This one was tough because I was almost shooting directly into the sun. This one would be better photographed in the late afternoon. At the top of the photo, you can see part of a covered bridge that crosses the river just above the falls.
The Fall color in the DuPont area was actually a little better than where I live in Haywood County. Better, but not great. There were some pretty trees here and there, but the wind of the last couple of days is taking its toll quickly. I found some of the most colorful leaves already on the ground.
Multi-colored Maple Leaf
After rushing a bit to get to the three falls, I slowed down to my usual unhurried pace for the rest of the hike. I've learned to go slow and see what's there to see. I found the two leaves below because I was going slow enough to notice them. I didn't "pose" these two leaves, they are just as I found them.
The last shot is just to show my two daughters that the old man survived his hike unscathed. A few years ago I slipped on a wet rock face, landed on my butt, and almost slid down into the abyss. Heather grabbed my backpack and slowed me down enough for me to get stopped before I became another hiking statistic. Oh yeah, Courtney would want me to mention that she saved the tripod I jettisoned when I fell. Anyway, one mishap and they tried to get me to promise not to hike by myself after they left for college. Sorry, girls, Dad has to get out into the woods once in a while to maintain his sanity; sometimes I have to do it solo. I'll be careful.