Pearl Droplets on Black Rock
Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve released an photos. Nine days, in fact. My apologies.
This is the promised collection of photos from Pearl Waterfall at Jiuzhai Valley. For a quick recap, Pearl Shoal is located near the center of the Y-shaped valley; the shoal is basically a long sheet of gently-stepped ridges that have cool water flowing over it, giving it the appearance of pearls sliding over the black rock. Eventually, the water flows off the side of the mountain in a fantastic waterfall, second only to the magnificent Nuorilang Waterfall (but easier to pronounce by far!).
In this photo, I tried to capture both aspects of any respectable waterfall: the swirling, churning water (in the foreground) and the smooth, flowing falls when seen from a distance (in the background). From the black rock in the foreground, you can see just how shallow the water is here; I don’t think it’s more than six inches deep at maximum. I really love the way the rocks all flow smoothly into each other, and the way the water pours over the curves.
To take a slight step backward, this is the last part of the Pearl Shoal before the falls (in fact, in the lower left, you can see the rock getting steeper). The experience of walking down alongside the shoal is incredible: all you see is a vast, smooth “plain” of water extending across the otherwise tree-covered mountainside. To give this a little perspective, imagine if engineers took your personal favorite mountain and carved a straight kilometer-long channel in it, then set water running down the mountain. It’s perfect.
Finally, a panoramic view of the waterfall itself. Curtains of water float gently from the black cliff to the muddy rocks below. Trees stand proud and tall amid the splash and thunder, rising above the crest of the water, pillars of life thrusting up from the forest below.
This photo was actually taken differently from the above two photos in order to bring out the smoothness of the water. This effect is accomplished by extending the camera’s exposure time to something like 1/10 to 1/15 of a second on widest aperture. That way, the quick-moving water blurs slightly in the photo, making the waterfall appear silky-smooth and bringing out the elegantly-stepped rock shapes from underneath the curtain of water.
Hopefully soon I should have more photos of the waterfall posted. God, I wish I could post every photo I took there…
Title photo shot with Canon EOS Rebel T3 @ 18mm, 1/60s, f/8, ISO 100.