Pic of the Week 4/9/20: Pedernales Falls State Park

April 09, 2020  •  1 Comment

Pic of the Week 4/9/20

“Pedernales Falls State Park”

Location: Pedernales Falls State Park, TX

Date taken: 4/9/17


The effects of COVID-19 have been seen all across our state. Since March 28, I myself have been at home in my apartment social distancing. There was a chance that I might get the opportunity to go out and hike or photograph, but the state of Texas has now closed all their state parks, state natural areas, and state historic sites to help curb the spread of this virus. And while part of me understands the reasoning behind this decision, it makes me sad to know that I can’t visit any of these beautiful parks. On the other hand, I have visited around 15 of our state parks so I do have some memories I can recall.

One of those memories was captured three years ago today on a trip to the Texas hill country with my mother. After spending the day at Colorado Bend State Park and Hamilton Pool our last stop of the day was Pedernales Falls State Park. Like I mentioned in a previous blog post, my research into this state park did not provide me with much photographic locations. A more obvious and common photograph was the overlook on the way down to the river access. Here, you can see the upper and lower Pedernales Falls was it tumbles down blocky limestone boulders forming enchanting pools and picturesque waterfalls.

It is so amazing in person and no matter how hard I tried I could not accurately convey the scale and size of the area. If you have not been to see it in person, I highly recommend you go. While the overlook was beautiful, it was not going to be my destination for sunset. But the scene was so nice it could not go undocumented. The only problem? People. Lots and lots of people were enjoying the tranquil waters of the river and were scattered all around my composition. Knowing I could remove them in post processing (just like I would have to for my Hamilton Pool image) I didn’t think twice about it. I made a series of exposures using my 10 stop neutral density filter to blur and smooth out the water as well as any tourists that were moving. Some, however, decided to stay still during this thirteen second duration and ended up as “distractions”—at least that was my initial reaction.


View of the Pedernales River from the overlook. © Ben Jacobi

After completing the edit I was quite satisfied with the dreamy look I achieved with the long exposure. It makes this beautiful area look even more magical. But again, it was so difficult to show the size and depth of this place. So, I decided to reopen the image and reprocess the photo with a select few tourists to help put the landscape in perspective. If you look closely you will see a photographer set up on the edge of a rock looking at the falls. There’s a woman with a dog lying down and soaking up the sun, another woman lying down, and a man standing watching the falls. These “distractions” really help bring in the grandeur of the location and give scale to the scene. Since we can’t enjoy this park right now I thought it would be appropriate to share an image of other people experiencing Pedernales Falls State Park. I did include them removed for those that want to just view the nature. Enjoy!  


View of the Pedernales River from the overlook. © Ben Jacobi



Pretty. This image makes me want to go there.
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