Saturday, February 18, 2012

Frozen Upper Falls, Old Man's Cave, Hocking Hills!

Have you ever taken an image, wanted to post it for its mere context, but the image was sub par. And for this particular image, by that I mean, the whites had washed out a great deal of the detail in the image overall. That was this image. This is what I did to improve upon that. Originally a landscape image, I cropped it to a portrait. Then I dropped it into the free trial version of Lightroom 4 beta, available online at Adobe right now through March, and worked judiciously on the whites of the waterfall. And after getting those whites almost where I'd like for them to be, the real work began. Getting detail in the stone along the bridge and detail again in the rocks at the base of the waterfall. If I could bring out some of the detail and not throw off the white balance, perhaps the image could be salvaged. Having accomplished all of that with a fair amount of success . . .

This is one of the Upper Falls at Old Man's Cave in Hocking Hills State Park in south central Ohio. I took this image six years ago in January. The upper most waterfall was flowing quite freely with only a slight base of ice pack. That image is on my sidebar as a feature image to view at your leisure.

And just for the sake of clarity, there is an 'actual' Lower Falls at Old Man's Cave that I could not reach on this day as the steps were frozen solid. Unless I wanted to slide down the steps and use climbing equipment to climb back up, I wasn't going to get a view of that waterfall on this day.

You may think all of this work is a little much. Well you have to understand, I traveled 200 miles to this area of Ohio, in the dead of winter, with twenty two degrees being the high that day. There was at least two inches of snow on the ground and most of the trails in the park were completely frozen over especially around Old Man's Cave. I slipped. I slid. I fell. I got back up. Only to fall again. However, it was one of the most memorable experiences in my entire life.

Oh, and least I forget. Remember that 'old' Pentax film camera of mine I so sadly had to retire. This image is from that camera. So kuddos to my Pentax, my ever faithful companion, for oh so many years. I would recommend clicking on the image so that you can view it in a slightly smaller version on your screen. When you do that, you will get a better representation of what I was shooting for in the way of 'the work' I put into it. I like looking at the detail in the smaller view. Now I'm not saying I'm 100% happy with this image, but I did feel it was worthy of a post. Hope your weekend is fairing well. ENJOY!

Photographer's Note: I felt I should add this note after I put up the original post. Seeing these beautiful waterfalls in winter was absolutely more fun than I could describe or put into words. My friend and fellow blogger, Barb, hikes, skis and snowshoes in the dead of winter in the high altitude of the Rocky Mountains with trees, mountains and wildlife as her companion. I try to imagine how fantastic that must be. So to drive to such a beautiful part of our country during the dead of winter with temps so low and see such beauty in these frozen water features. Well, all I can say is, I recommend it.


  1. The photo was worth the weather, don't you think?

    One of my other blogger friends went there this winter.

    go back a few posts to see her photos

  2. Hey Carol,

    I know how that goes. I drove 3hrs to ricketts glen falls park(something like 21 waterfalls) and it ended up being a sunny day! Really killer for waterfalls in the forest. Really wanted the cloudy skies, but we have to make the best of it. Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for sharing. I wonder if it has been cold enough in the Delaware water gap for a trip for some frozen waterfalls...

  3. Hi Carol, I liked reading your story of this hike - cold, icy, but ultimately a memory-maker. Frozen waterfalls show time stopped in mid-fall. PS The new anti spam words are giving me fits!

  4. I think there is a lesson in your story for photographers. When you have a subject in a difficult place to return to or see again. One should vary the exposures and settings if there is time increasing the chance of a capture. Hocking Hills is such a neat area. A discovery my wife and I made wandering one summer. I had not heard about the area prior to finding it. A place worth returning to and viewing in all seasons as Bernhiem is.