The Jura region in southeast France is an area less travelled by tourists, but it is home to some wonderful scenery, particularly some amazing waterfalls and cascades. The Cascades du Herisson are especially nice because they flow past a lengthy trail in a park setting and are very accessible to the casual hiker.
The most famous portion of the cascades are quite high (seen in the background in this photo) and can fill your viewfinder by themselves. But other portions of the cascades' stream, as is the surrounding forest, are also quite beautiful. My challenge for this image was finding a position and perspective that would capture the high cascade and emphasize its connection to the beautiful lower stream. I wanted to convey a sense of scale for the overall scene and a bit of the drama of the flow coming towards the camera.
We were there in late spring, and the flow was quite strong. The weather was overcast and drizzling on occasion, so the light was pretty flat. I prefer this lighting for forest scenes to avoid excessive highlights and contrast. I managed to clamber down the hill and find a position on rocks, essentially in the stream.
The 28mm fixed lens of the Leica Q is not normally considered a landscape lens, but for this scene, it was perfect, and an f/13 aperture kept the whole scene in focus. After a few experiments, I concluded that a 1-second exposure was just right for smoothing the flow without erasing all texture from it. Despite the low light, an ND filter was still necessary to get this exposure length. Overall, this is a gorgeous spot and worth a visit.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor