Franconia Notch – Flume Gorge

Things don’t always go as per plan. Mine didn’t go well either. A friend and I planned for some night photography, mainly for the milky-way and the star trails in the White Mountains Area. We planned it 3 weeks in advance and when the day came to head out we had intense overcast and chance of rain. That was the situation for the entire weekend. Our plan was to be out all night shooting and sleep all day, but we ended up shooting all day and sleeping all night.

However, fortunately for us the White Mountains State Park is a very beautiful state park, with 100s of trails and plenty of waterfalls and lakes. If you want to shoot waterfalls during the day then overcast is a good thing. With an overcast the light is soft, there is less contrast, and you can afford to keep a long exposure and the light is even. So that’s a good tip for you if you are out shooting during the day. If you use a higher stop ND Filter then that helps a lot as well. If you can manage to keep the exposure long enough using these tips then depending on what you are shooting ( lake, waterfalls etc) you can convert it into an interesting B&W image as well via post processing. I did not shoot for B&W though because I really liked the lush green colors.

So on day 1 we decided to explore the Franconia Notch SP. First off we went to the Flume Gorge, Its a 2 mile loop from the visitor center. The trail is not that tough, most of it boarded with planks and then along the falls they have built a boardwalk for you to enjoy the natural gorge and be safe at the same time. You start from the bottom of the trail and walk your way up and then you are back.

Covered Bridge HDR

Okay so I made one B&W, but wasn’t intended. I was processing the images and decided to convert it and see what it looks like, and eventually decided to stick with it. So this covered bridge is where the trail starts. On the right you can see the wooden railing which pretty much runs along the waterfall.

Flume Gorge

Flume Gorge - Avalanche Falls

A quarter mile up you reach the Avalanche Falls, This was a little difficult to shoot because i was directly in front of the fall, and the mist was coming right at my lens, i used my hat and the lens cap to protect it and after i balanced my tripod and guessed the settings that would be right  I removed the cap and took a shot immediately.  Tried it 2-3 times to get it right.
Flume Gorge - Avalanche

The image above is of the Avalanche falls again but from the top. There was a small viewing area from where you could extend your camera out. Eventually the inevitable happened and it started to rain. lucky for us, we came across another covered bridge as you can see in the image below.

Covered Bridge
Flume Gorge

The image above was shot from the bridge while we were waiting for the rain to stop. The view was gorgeous and ahead of the bridge (right side in the image) there was a viewing are area from where I took the image of the Bridge itself.

View from Flume Gorge
Ferns

And then you come back to the starting point which is also the visiting center.  We were almost about to leave when my friend pointed out the incoming fog and the hills. Tired as we were decided to go have a look anyways, and i’m glad we did. The 2 images above got created.

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