Australia - Western - Jeff Henry Photography
Powered by SmugMug Log In
Early Morning Fortescue

Early Morning Fortescue

I will never forget photographing Fortescue Falls at Karijini National Park. It was an experience, in more ways than one.

The first time I attempted to photograph the Falls, I didn't arrive in time. The window for early morning photography here is quite small, with the sun blasting the top of the falls just minutes after sunrise. So, two days later, I woke up even earlier to ensure I had enough time to make the 40 minute drive, 20 minute hike, and be in position before the sun rose.

That second morning I had about 15 minutes after arriving at the top of the falls to get into place and capture the images before the sun would be too high in the sky. The trail from the car park leads to the top-middle of this image, and then it is possible to hike and climb over the top of the falls and along the steep rock face to where I set up my tripod.

Capturing the image was fun and got the adrenaline going, as I was literally pinned between my tripod and the rocks, leaning back as much as I could to avoid the 15 meter drop into the water. Luckily I had a couple spare centimeters to work with.

After capturing this five image panoramic, I scurried back along the rocks until I was in a position to pack up some of my gear and then began working my way to the top of the Falls, which required a little jump over the water at the top. I wasn't looking close enough, because I made the jump and landed right next to a 2.5 meter snake. For those that don't know, Australia is home to some of the world's deadliest snakes; and Karijini National Park has it's fair share.

So, here I am at the top of the falls, balancing on a rock I just jumped onto, finding myself next to a long snake. The worst went through my head in the half second before I unceremoniously and ungraciously jumped back over the top of the falls to where I'd just come from. The snake looked in my direction, but didn't seem interested. I learned later it was a nonvenomous python that lived under a rock at the top of the falls, and was going home after having been out hunting overnight.

All ended well, and I came away with this wonderful image of Fortescue Falls at Dales Gorge.

AustraliaDales GorgeFortescue FallsFresh WaterKarijini National ParkOceaniaPilbaraSunriseViewWaterfallWaterscapeWestern Australia