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Waterfalls List, natural beautiful famous Big Sur Waterfalls as well as Waterfall Visitor Tips and Information for Tourists and Pacific Coast Highway 1 Sightseers plus Waterfall Photography Tips and Tricks.
Black Swift Falls at the Ragged Point Inn Ocean View Resort, 805-927-4502: Black Swift Falls: Located on the Ragged Point Inn and Resort property 15 miles north of Hearst Castle San Simeon; at over 300 feet high Black Swift Falls is easily the highest waterfall on the Big Sur Coast. Black Swift Falls is best viewed during the rainy season from the furthest northwest scenic view point at the Ragged Point Inn and Resort; you can often take the rough steep to the beach and traverse the creek beds rocks and boulders to get a better view from the bottom but the top of the waterfall is an off-limits protected Black Swift habitat. click for photos and more waterfall trail information
Salmon Creek Falls: Located 3 miles north of the Ragged Point Inn Resort on a hairpin curve of Pacific Coast Highway 1. Salmon Creek Falls height is 120 feet; the waters are split into two columns by a large boulder at the top. Beautiful Salmon Creek Falls can often be from the highway; park in the pullout or just north of the creek is a seldom used ranger station with a parking lot; there are short hiking trails to both the bottom and top of Salmon Creek falls. click for photos and more waterfall trail information
Limekiln Falls: Located in that is on the Big Sur Pacific Coast Highway 1 about 2 miles south of Lucia. Limekiln Falls is truly beautiful and can be spectacular when the Limekiln Creek is running good, Limekiln Creek Falls height is 100 feet. The short trail is easy to follow to where the creek crosses then just work your way up the creek to the falls. If you like to camp the campground is nice many sites right next to Limekiln Creek. click for photos and more waterfall trail information
Play it Safe in the creek bed and around the waterfalls:
Use good common since and consider your physical condition and capabilities. Creeks and waterfalls are dangerous places; it is easy to fall even if you are sober, don't drink. Visiting waterfalls often involves crossing creeks and rock hopping; wet and mossy rocks can cause bone breaking slips. Fast currents can be troublesome and drowning can happen even in shallow still water. Stay away from the cliffs unless you are an experienced climber. Looking down from the top of the falls is usually not really an impressive vantage point anyway. Having a friend along on a waterfall trek once saved my life, TAKE ALONG A FRIEND, it's more fun anyway and you can get in some pictures.
Clothing and Equipment:
It is easy to fall and get wet when visiting a waterfall, I usually do. Wear good boots or shoes and tough old clothing and bring an extra change and towels if you want to be dry. Layering is the best way to dress anytime you adventure outdoors on the Big Sur California Pacific Coast. Bring a map or at least get good directions. Bring food and water; you don't want to drink the creek water and picnics are fun. Bring your camera, accessories and a friend to take a waterfall picture with you in it.
Map Big Sur
McWay Falls: Located at the beach of
which is 13 miles south of Big Sur on Pacific Coast Highway 1 (37 miles south of Carmel); parking is available in a parking lot at the state park. Follow the short Waterfall Overlook Trail and you will reach a view of an enchanting 80 foot McWay Falls that empties into a beautiful but unreachable rocky cliff surrounded cove; the trail continues on past McWay Falls a short distance to a historic stone house ruins but regretfully no hiking trail goes down to the beach where the base of the falls is so MacWay falls like Black Swift Falls is sort of unapproachable. This spring fed waterfall often flows nicely even during the dry season.
You can get the best pictures using a SLR camera and film but digital cameras are getting better every day and many have settings which are comparable or mimic film cameras settings.
Shutter Speeds:What makes waterfall and flowing creek photographs get that soft look is a slow shutter speed and with film use of film with a low ISO; this effect is more pronounced with larger flows of splashing water (don't forget to take care to keep your camera, digital or film, dry). Many digital cameras allow for a slower shutter speed which is usually desirable although it can also be cool under certain conditions to shoot with a fast shutter speed and stop the motion of the water.
Bracket Your Shots:If you are looking for the perfect shot you should bracket (over expose a little usually) your exposures so your water looks nice and white not grey, the correct exposure is especially important if you have people it the shoot too. Many digital cameras have bracket settings for shutter speed as well.
Tripods:With any camera it will be better to shoot using a tripod. Camera motion can blur the picture easier at slow shutter speeds. Use a cable, remote or timer for hands-off the camera shooting for a nice clear shot.
Overcast or Sunlight?: Light overcast days are usually considered to be the best for photographing waterfalls; you can get a softer look although you can sometimes get some cool effects like lens flares, stop-motion, rainbows and light rays filtering through the tree branches when the sun is out.
Lens Filters:A polarizing filter will eliminate the reflections and glare off the water and wet surfaces and give your photo a nice rich look. Under certain circumstances a neutral density filter can allow for longer exposures enhancing that soft look.
Camera Angles:Shoot from a variety of angles. No picture is worth getting hurt for but if the terrain allows shots other than straight on can make waterfall photographs much more dynamic and interesting.
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