Pic of the Week 1/29/21
“Travertine Creek Waterfalls”
Location: Chickasaw National Recreation Area, OK
Date taken: 1/10/21
Are you getting tired of waterfall photos, yet? Well, if you are it might be best to disregard this post. On the one hand, I don’t like sharing similar subjects back-to-back, but on the other hand, its not often I return from a shoot with multiple images. Most of the time I only can squeeze out one good shot depending on what the light is doing. But for this shoot we had overcast skies which meant the light was more consistent. This let me capture a lot more “shareable” photographs during this trip.
The final image I am sharing with you from this trip was captured on our way out of the park. Once you pass Little Niagara and the visitor center you must loop around on a one-road. Along this road there are several pull offs that feature more smaller waterfalls along Travertine Creek. Some of these water features have official names and park signs. Others, however, are left untitled and a little harder to access. Sometimes, these extra unnamed waterfalls can be more inspiring than the marked ones. As is the case with this fall.
Travertine Creek WaterfallsTranquil scene on Travertine Creek. © Ben Jacobi
Just a short walk down from the “Bear Falls” parking area another waterfall resides along the creek. This waterfall is more impressive and it caught my eye as we drove past Bear Falls. This two-tiered water feature is far more photogenic. Here's a video I shot of this photogenic little waterfall. It has much more interesting rocks, multiple cascades, and a beautiful secondary cascade. So why does Bear Falls get all the attention? Because Bear Falls features a natural pool that parkgoers use to swim in. Not something we would be doing today.
I pushed my way through the bramble and briar to reach a good vantage point of the waterfall. I noticed little eddy currents forming off the secondary cascade and watched the frothy foam swirl around the rocks creating a miniature whirlpool in the scene. I was convinced I had found my composition. As I set my camera and lined up the shot the clouds to our west began clearing. Patches of blue peered through the gray clouds sending splashes of color and light onto the water’s reflection. Sadly, the light and color didn’t last very long and I was only able to capture just this one image. You can see the bluer tones in the lower half of the photo and if you look closely you can just make out the edge of the blue sky in the creek.
I love the natural “Z” shaped leading line in this composition. The little eddy on the bottom right adds just the right amount of opposing motion to create tension and anchor your eye to that area. Then my eye follows the creek upstream to those darker rocks in the lighter reflection as it takes my eye to the right of the image. My eye follows along the shore to the rocks in the background and across the waterfall to the upper left side. This completes the Z shape. From here I move down the shoreline and to the brighter rocks in the darker reflection, which ultimately leads me back to the starting point. This creates a loop that holds the viewers attention. Its hard to believe that something this aesthetic would be unlabeled. This concludes my images from the Chickasaw National Recreation Area. I hope you’ve enjoyed this series and again, if you have never been I highly recommend you check it out!
My eye path through this photo.