Photographing Appalachian Mountains: Falling Spring Falls
Photographing Falling Spring Falls
Location: Alleghany County, Virginia
Best time of year to photograph: Spring and Fall
Subject Focus: Waterfalls, Landscape, Nature, Sunset
Distance: 0.25 miles Out and Back
One of the prettiest waterfalls in the Commonwealth of Virginia, Falling Spring Falls is a perfect place to spend an afternoon. Falling Spring Falls is located in Alleghany County just north of the town of Covington. To reach the falls, take US 60 off of Interstate 64, then follow US 220 North for just over 9 miles until you reach the falls, which you can see from the road on the left hand side. Just past the falls is a parking lot and a picnic area.
(20mm, F/20, 3sec, ISO 100)
One of the best view of Falling Spring Falls and a great location for sunset is the vista next to the road. There is a well-maintained sidewalk that leads about 300 feet from the parking lot to this overlook. The Falling Spring Falls Overlook faces north and provides the photographer a side view of the 80’ tall waterfall with the Appalachian Mountains as the back drop (click here for some photography tips). Because of the steep terrain and surrounding trees, there is really only one angle from this location, but it is outstanding. There is a stone that I like to put my tripod on to help get my camera a little higher over the bushes growing on the side of the mountain, so I can capture an unobstructed view of Falling Spring Falls. At sunset, you can capture the last rays of light hitting the waterfall and get some beautiful golden side light on the Appalachian Mountains in the background of your image. Side light will held add shape and depth to the multiple mountain ridges as they roll off into the distance.
(35mm, F/11, 1/2 sec, ISO 100)
While you are waiting for sunset, I suggest you follow the path down to the base of Falling Spring Falls. The trail head is located on the west side of the parking lot (side closest to the overlook). The trail is steep in some areas but is very easy to follow. Once at the base of Falling Spring Falls, make sure you take a few minutes to explore the area to find a great composition (click here for photography composition tips). Unlike the overlook, there are numerous places to photograph the waterfall, including from behind it. The top of Falling Spring Falls has enough of a ledge that you are able to stand behind the waterfall, which you can use to help create some unique images. If you would like some waterfall photography tips, including how to create capture silky smooth water, click here.
(35mm, F/11, 2sec, ISO 100)
Also, remember to bring your swimsuit; there are some awesome swimming holes both at the base of the falls and near the top of the falls.
(70mm, F/16, 2 sec, ISO 100)
Keywords: alleghany county, appalachian mountains, appalachians, blue ridge imagery, blue ridge mountains, camping, falling spring falls, hike, hiking, landscape, landscape photography, nature, nature photography, photograph falling spring falls, photograph waterfall, spring, summit, sunset, virginia
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