Last monday I got off of work early and since I was near the Potomac river, I decided to hike the canal next to it to see the results of the previous weekend’s storm. The river near where I live had flooded pretty bad, and I wanted to see what was going on with the Potomac. I had only plan to stay for about and hour, but when I arrived there and saw how raging the river was, my plans for a quick shoot went right out the window. As I walked along it was easy to see that everywhere I normally walk off the trail was completely flooded. It was simply mesmerizing. There were clumps of trees about five feet in diameter and as long as school buses flying down the river as if they were rigged with outboard motors. And the sound of the water was loud. Very loud. All of the trails leading off the canal were closed for safety, so I stayed on the canal, which was fine with me because there was lots of things to shoot. There are parts where the canal meanders away from the river and I would forget about it, and just lose myself in the scenery. It was at these points where I kept thinking that I should get back to my van and go home, but the trail would wind up near the river again and I just kept going. After about six miles of doing this, I came upon a part of the canal where you can walk over this little bridge and stand over a small waterfall. Needless to say, due to the current circumstances, this small waterfall was now a raging beast and the bridge understandably, was closed. People started to gather to get a close-up view of this truly great event and that is when I met another photographer who had the same thing in mind as I did. Get a better shot of the waterfall. “I bet if we climbed down these rocks next to the falls we could get a better shot” he said. “Just remember if you fall, you die.” “Let’s go” I replied. I followed him down these series of boulders and about halfway down is when I realized that the lens on my camera was not wide enough to get the shot I wanted. There was no way for me to change lenses next to a raging waterfall, so I decided to see just how far down I had to go to get my shot with the lens I had on my camera. As I turned to see how far down I was, The unthinkable happened. I slipped. It wasn’t the kind of slip one does when when you say, slip on some ice, but it was pretty damn close. My heart stopped. Not wanting to give up, I climbed off the boulders and found a dry spot to change lenses. I went back out onto the boulders and proceeded to find a spot where I could get my shot and not lose my life. I found a flat spot at the end of the falls where I could stand and lean on the boulder in front of me. One caveat though, and that was the fact that the boulder I was standing on was about two inches away from the falls. In fact, the water kept rushing over my feet. To get my shot I had to grip the boulder in front of me with one hand while shooting with the other. After getting the shots I wanted, I climbed off the rocks, got back on the trail, and started heading back to my van, shooting all the way until I ran out of cards.

Tech:Canon 5D mark II, Ef 35mm L 1.4, ISO 160, 1/800@f/8


10 Comments on “Rage

  1. I’m so damn happy nothing happened to you. You should see my face right now. Don’t let me call your wife lol. I’m happy you got such a wonderful shot but be careful next time. I know I’m sounding all motherly lol but you know I appreciate you.

    • Thanks, BG. You’re too funny. You are also right in that Sheila wasn’t too pleased of this part of my adventure. I will tell you however, that I did learn my lesson. You know, being a ten year old kid trapped in a man’s body is not always easy. šŸ™‚ Thanks for the appreciation.

  2. I visited the great falls some time in the first quarter of 2007. I climbed down into the Potomac though the rocks were slippery and my partner jittery..
    Thanks for the post.

  3. I visited the great falls some time in the first quarter of 2007. I climbed down into the Potomac though the rocks were slippery and my partner jittery..
    Thanks for the post.

  4. The leagnth to which artists will go to get their perfect inspiration. I enjoyed reading your account. Isnt the woods in spring just one of the most amazing places? Around every corner is a new marvel to discover. Im glad you didnt loose any equipment into the water.

    Do you bring a walking stick? Or would that just interfere with camera holding.

  5. The story gives a totally new appreciation for the shot. You can tell the fury but I cannot imagine what you went through to capture the water. Amazing.

    • Thanks Robin. I will certainly be more careful next time as I realize that I would like to be around for the next shot.

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