Photographing One of Alger County’s Most Notable Waterfalls – Scott Falls

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The shot from the front of Scott Falls in Alger County taken by Saddleback Photography

The shot from the front of Scott Falls in Alger County taken by Saddleback Photography

Marquette, MI  –  July 14, 2016  –  Earlier this month I took a trip up the Lake Superior shoreline to Au Train, MI. After days and days of rain, I was just itching to get out and shoot! I stopped at one of the areas popular waterfalls, Scott Falls, just before sunset.

If you’re looking for Scott Falls coming from the Marquette area, you can see the waterfall on the right side of the road right off M-28! It’s tucked into the woods with a small trail needing down from the road. H.J. Rathfoot State Roadside Park is a great landmark being just across the street from the falls. The park also provides tons of parking for your visit.

As a photographer who was born and raised in Michigan, the state and it’s natural gifts are something I love to focus on. The special thing about Scott Falls, which I made sure to take advantage of is the fact that you can get in behind the waterfall! There is a cave behind the waterfall that you can walk into and see the water falling above you! The waterfall itself is a fairly smooth single stream that falls into an extremely calm pound of water. It’s a great place to take the kids on the way to the beach, or just to stop on a road trip!

If you’re interested in photographing Scott Falls as we did, here’s a few tips for getting the most of your photo trip:

  1. You need a DSLR camera
    1. You do not need a professional DSLR (or SLR) camera, but you do need something that allows you to control the shutter speed at which you are shooting as well as your other settings.
  2. You will need a tripod
    1. It doesn’t have to be a very strong tripod or even an fancy expensive ball-head tripod. You just have to be able to ensure there is on camera shake during this process.
  3. A ND Filter
    1. A Neutral Density filter is not required, but strongly recommended. Some of the shots in the gallery were taken with one and others without.
    2. When using a variable ND filter, it’s best to set up your focus on the waterfall, then shift the filter to one of the darker stops on the filter. (I use a 9 stop viable ND filter)
  4. Camera Settings
    1. Here are our settings on a Nikon D7000 w/ a variable ND Filter:
    2. Basic 18-55mm Kit Lens
    3. ISO 100
    4. 5.0 second exposure
    5. F/11 aperture
      1. If you don’t have an ND filter, you’ll want to as high of an aperture as possible – probably f/22. Having a higher aperature is also something to experiement even with an ND filter as your focus throughtout the entire depth of the image will be higher.
  5. Other Suggestions
    1. Shoot in Raw – Change your camera file format to RAW to get the best detail in your photos and the largest files possible. This format is also best for post processing.
    2. Use a Remote Trigger – Use a remote trigger to send a wireless signal to trigger the exposure rather than having to touch the shutter button and possibly causing the camera to move mid exposure. You can also use a 2 second or 10 second timer to avoid camera shake.
    3. Enjoy the moment!!!

We wish you the best of luck and would love to see photos from your trip in the comments, snapshots or artistic compositions! See more waterfall photos!
All photos taken and owned by Saddleback Photography. See more of our work by following is on Facebook!

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