Behind the Lens: Horseshoe Falls landscape

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Dodgy weather can make or break your landscape photography. Pro photographer Dylan Fox explains how he took this stunning photo of Horseshoe Falls in Tasmania, with foggy weather turning out to be the icing on the cake.

Living on the West Coast of Australia I have always felt very spoiled when it comes to stunning beaches lined with white sand and water so blue I have heard people describe it as looking ‘manufactured’. Our coastal scenes are stunning and as you head further north the rich red colours of the outback take over, with amazing places like Karijini National Park showcasing some of the most spectacular gorges in the country. However, one thing I don’t get to see much of is lush, green, moss-covered forests with stunning waterfalls scattered throughout them. So when I do visit these kinds of places I always feel as if I’m entering a fairy tale.
Recently I spent eight days camping in Tasmania visiting some absolutely stunning locations. One of the highlights was Mount Field National Park. This photograph captures Horseshoe Falls, which is situated a little bit beyond the equally impressive Russell Fallls.

On my second morning I was treated to some stunning conditions. I woke early, after a terrible sleep due to the bitterly cold nights, to see the forest was completely covered in heavy fog. I grabbed my gear and headed directly towards the falls. I photographed Russell Falls first, capturing a number of different compositions I’d seen the previous day, before making my way up the track to Horseshoe.

As I was shooting this scene the fog began to lift and started to let the morning sun filter in. This created the light rays coming in from the upper right-hand corner, leaving a few points of direct light on the falls. The fog added a beautiful atmosphere to the shot and although the scene looked fantastic without it, the fog really was the icing on the cake. As is often the case, it is just a matter of being in the right place at the right time.

Setting up these compositions often proves challenging. Working in the freezing water and trying to get each tripod leg to find a place under the water to settle on, which for one leg may be fully closed while another leg is fully extended to reach the bottom, and still get the camera in the right spot, certainly takes a bit of time. But it’s a rather small inconvenience when you are making photographs of a fairytale.

Horseshoe Falls. Photo by Dylan Fox. Sony A7R, Canon16-35mm f/2.8 lens @ 16mm, 5 seconds @ f16, ISO 200.
Horseshoe Falls. Photo by Dylan Fox. Sony A7R, Canon16-35mm f/2.8 lens @ 16mm, 5 seconds @ f16, ISO 200.
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