A last minute change of plans led me to the Gold Country area of Placer County. The North Fork (of the American River) Dam is a very photogenic structure in the way the water spills evenly over top of the dam.
(Click through the image for the 700px view)
There is a trail leading to the base of the dam, but not an obvious trail leading a bit further downstream to where I had hoped to shoot from. It would have involved some deliberate scrambling over wet boulders and heavy mist from the waterfall. Now normally, these conditions would have been uncomfortable but not ones to stop me. Yet, I had parked the car in a location where it was not entirely certain if parking fees applied or not. And with the park ranger seeing me not just a few moments before, I was not willing to risk a parking ticket for more than a 5 or 10 minute shoot.
Instead of just framing of the dam and the waterfall in its entirety, as would be the norm of many photographers (myself included), the focus is of the lower portion of the falls as it hits a boulder below. The hazy skies and general monochromatic dull green and brown hillsides just did not make for an overall pleasing composition; so the goal was to decomposition the scene and find something interesting. The stairs leading down to the main focal point of the water hitting the rocks with the yellow accent just behind was what finally caught my eye. 7 minutes of shooting various compositions and I was back in my car looking for a new location.
EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center weighted metering mode, ISO 100, 55mm, f/20, 0.5 sec
Auburn (CA), Dam Waterfall, Concrete Steps. Auburn, California. May 26, 2013. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.