Montmorency Falls, Quebec, Canada by Yvan Bedard

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Montmorency Falls are spectacular all year round. Located between two walls of rock over the cliff to the St. Lawrence River below, they are large and high. In fact, at 83 meters tall (272 ft.), they are 30 meters (98.5 ft.) higher than the famous Niagara Falls and 23m (75 ft.) higher than Iceland Skogafoss Falls.

This photograph was taken in February from the East side of Montmorency river, just before it ends in the St-Lawrence River. This is the best place to see the icy sugarloaf at the bottom of the Falls. With the usual winds, the temperature was a "warm minus 15 Celsius" and the mist froze almost immediately on the front of the lens when I got too close to the falls. A transparent filter was needed to protect the lens from the mist and to clean it every 2-3 shots. I didn't use my tripod because the light was very bright and I needed to walk a good distance at that temperature.

From a composition standpoint, I wanted to emphasize the power, danger and size of the Falls. FIrst, I decided to use a longer focal length to make the people going on the sugarloaf appear very close to the Falls. Second, I voluntarily avoided to include the top of the Falls in my frame, giving no cues about its size. Third, I framed it horizontally in spite of the height of the Falls, allowing me to show how large it is. Finally, I waited about an hour to see a few brave persons going on the sugarloaf to add some scale information. I knew the size of people would add drama to the Falls.


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