Elk Falls, Avery County, NC - 2005
(Click on Photo to enlarge.)
This is one of my all-time favorite waterfall photos, and one one of the first black and white conversions that came out as I originally envisioned. I made it on a day trip with my family back in 2005.
Elk Falls is easy to find and easy to get to. You can park your car within yards of this fall. As a result, there will almost always be other people present. On the day of our visit, there were several teenage boys foolishly climbing on the water slicked rocks that surround the fall. I'm not anti-social, but I prefer not to have an inebriated teenager trying to prove his manhood cluttering up my waterfall photo. To avoid this problem, I chose a very tight composition. I generally like to show a little of the surrounding area to give sense of scale to a fall, and I remember being a little frustrated not being able to do that here. However, when I got back home and got it up on my computer screen, I really liked the tight composition which focused only on the rocks and water.
The idea of simplifying the photo even more by making it a black and white occurred to me, so I pursued that route. At the time, I was having a hard time getting software to give me the results I saw in my mind when making black and white conversions. I was still very much in a learning phase with black and white, but everything just seemed to fall into place on this photo. As I said, it remains one of my favorites to this day.