Even though I just posted some star trail photos a little over a month ago as part of my Lantern Project post, it had actually been a while since I had shot one. Frankly, I was starting to feel like I had run out of ideas. Well, inspiration struck me as I started thinking about trying to capture a waterfall at night. The challenge? Finding a waterfall that is decently easy to get to, is facing the right way, and has an open sky above it. Not as obvious as you might think. Anyway, I was reminded of my old stomping grounds in Grundy County one evening when a friend of mine on Facebook posted some daytime pictures of Greeter Falls, inside Savage Gulf State Natural Area. After a quick conversation, it seemed the falls met all the criteria, so I conned my friends Steve and Allen into going with me one afternoon. The falls are about 2.5 hours away from where we all live, so we ended up making a half-day adventure out of it.

Now the technical part. Putting this image together was a bit of a pain in the rear. We picked a moonless night to do our shoot so the sky would be nice and dark, and we’d hopefully be able to see lots of stars. What I ended up doing was getting a shot of the falls during the blue hour, and then blending it with the star trail image to create the final image you see above. The reason for that is the area around the falls (and including the falls) turns into a big black hole after dark, so it was either that, or do some substantial light painting, which we also tried. I ended up liking this version of the image better though. Good times!

On a separate note, several people commented that my image was a day late last week. Sorry! I ended up getting sick from something I ate in India, and so I spent the entire day in bed on Sunday. I was feeling human again by the middle of this past week, but yes, Picture of the Week ended up posting a little later than normal. I do love though that some of you are such consistent readers! 🙂

–Dan Thompson

Greeter Falls