Landscape Photography – Pedernales Falls (Almost)

Pedernales Falls is a beautifully scenic gradual waterfalls located in Blanco County just east of Johnson City, Texas. Though you’d never think so from this image, the Pedernales River can flash flood with little or no warning. The water in the river can rise from a quiet stream to a raging torrent in just a few minutes. There are signs all over the state park telling hikers to seek higher ground immediately if they notice the water rising.

I’m sure this has to do with the fact that the geology of the Edwards Plateau is an uplifted and elevated region formed from deposits of sandstone, limestone, and shale. 150 years ago this entire area was mostly grasslands but overgrazing and erosion has changed it to what we see today, hard rock and scrub trees. Although it’s still a beautiful area, the lack of topsoil and grass makes flash flooding a real danger.

Pedernales Falls

Pedernales Falls State Park, Texas
Copyright © 2009 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 40D set on aperture priority (Av) using an EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM hand-held. The exposure was taken at 24mm, f/9 for 1/200th of a second at ISO 100 on Sandisk digital film. Post capture processing was done entirely in Lightroom 2. Click on the image above for a larger version.

I was hoping for a little better water flow for my shots but the low water level did allow me to gain access to some unusual locations to shoot from such as this small area of rapids in the middle of the falls. Using a Singh-Ray Vari-ND neutral density filter allowed me to take a much longer exposure which creates the milky look to the flowing water.

Running Water

Running Water at Pedernales Falls, Texas
Copyright © 2009 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 40D set on manual using an EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM tripod-mounted. The exposure was taken at 32mm, f/13 for 1.3 seconds at ISO 100 on Sandisk digital film. Post capture processing was done in Lightroom 2 using Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro plug-in filters. Click on the image above for a larger version.

4 thoughts on “Landscape Photography – Pedernales Falls (Almost)

  1. I love that first photo! Terrific!

    Flash floods happened in Arizona fairly often, although I only saw one actually taking place. It was awesome and frightening all at the same time.

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