Teaching Slow Exposures at Arch Angel Falls

How cool is that name, Arch Angel Falls? It has an angelic beauty to it that just doesn’t quite feel like it belongs to earth; it’s a little too beautiful.

If there's one thing I love more than hiking into a gorgeous location to photograph it, it would be sharing that spot with someone else and teaching them how to photograph it. I have a good friend that had expressed a desire to learn how to take long exposure shots, so I decide there was nowhere better to learn that skill than at Arch Angel Falls.

The slow exposure is a favorite arrow in my quiver. I love finding some running water that I can turn to silk. The concept is really simple: you just slow down the exposure to last longer than you could free-handing a shot and let the camera do the work for you. It does require an understanding of the fundamental settings in your camera, but once you’ve mastered that, it's really easy. My friend didn’t know enough about those fundamentals because he had just taken up photography, so I gave him a quick breakdown.

Once he understood the settings and the concept of how to do it, he was hooked. It’s kind of an addicting style of photography because it has such a profound effect and almost feels like magic. For the rest of the hike, I would see him taking the extra time to bust out the tripod and make the most of all the little waterfalls along the way.

These little falls were prevalent but really only served as warm ups for the coup de gras that is Arch Angel Falls. It’s a stairway to heaven that is just as impressive in person as it is in finely-crafted images. What makes it so incredible is the sheer number of levels it has along with the its width and variety in heights. That and the beautiful red rock it is built out of make for epic shots. Red rock always looks better when it’s wet.

My mission to take amazing photos is never done, and I’ll have to return here in the fall when the autumn colors will be in full bloom. It was a lot of fun just to share that skill with a friend and see his passion for photography grow. You always get more when you freely give.

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