A sleepness night on a cold rock ledge overlooking the beautiful, powerful, noisy Mitchell Falls all came down to this. We were there for the pre-dawn morning light, gently illuminating the falls without the harsh shadows we had during the daylight shoot the day before, and the moonlit shoot the night before.
Just before the light was almost right, Ken and I decided that it was time to try a new location, as we’d been on that rock ledge most of the day and night before and needed a change of scenery. So we quickly packed up our gear and climbed back up the cliff, heading out further along the gorge to get a more head-on view of the falls.
We setup on the edge of a high rock outcrop, high above the river below – both of us trying to fit without getting our tripod legs in each others shot (and without bumping each other or falling off!)
We got the shot!
The light was beautiful, with the sky turning slight shades of light blue, pink and yellow and the even illumination across the falls was just what we were after.
It’s a 6 image panorama, taken with a Canon 5D Mk II, 17-40mm lens @ 17mm, f/9, ISO125, 1s exposures. Panorama created using AutoPano Pro, and processed using Photoshop CS5.
At about 6:45am we quickly packed up again, ready to walk back to the helicopter pad at the top of the falls where we’d arranged for a 7am transfer to take us back to meet our tour group as we had a long day of driving ahead of us down to Bell Gorge.
The 6 minute transfer included a quick figure 8 over the falls so we could get a few aerial shots of the falls. Unfortunately I was in the front seat, and the chopper didn’t have the front doors removed – so I had a small window I had to try and poke my camera out of and it was really difficult to try and compose the shot.
I only got 1 or 2 shots, but the focus is off. Difficult to really tell at the smaller resolution, but the large version is terrible 🙁
However the aerial shots really do show the sheer size of the falls – something you just can’t properly describe to someone and doesn’t really show the scale in the panorama above. The falls are enormous!
Another aerial, showing the remoteness and wilderness of the Mitchell Plateau.
And this last shot is our chopper, just before it’s about to head back to base.
Mitchell Falls is without a doubt one of the top 2 or 3 places on our Kimberley Tour. An unspoiled wilderness – extremely difficult and trying to access, but well worth it once you get there.
Thanks for looking.