There are three nice waterfalls in the Deep Creek area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This post covers the Tom Branch and Indian Creek Falls. My previous post covered the Juney Whank Falls.
The trail to the falls runs along Deep Creek. Trout fishing is excellent in the creek. There are plenty of wildflowers along the trail. My favorite is the Showy Orchis (orchid).
The NPS says the “roundtrip distance to the waterfalls is 1.6 miles. I rate all of the trails as easy.
Feature Image Details
To capture scenes like these you need a long exposure. Depending on how fast the water is flowing, the range may be between 1/4 second and several seconds.
Here is a vertical image of the same scene.
Creating good waterfall images is easy. You need:
- Bright overcast or shade
- A good angle
- Slow shutter speed
You cannot do anything about 2. You have sufficient water or you don’t. In regards to light, you can go on a cloudy day or time your visit so that the waterfall is in the shade when you get there. Bright overcast light is nearly always the best.
Points three to five are in the photographer’s control. A good angle can be a make-or-break affair. Just don’t do anything too silly.
If you are wondering how I got that those images without getting wet, I didn’t. I got wet.
The water was cold and fishermen were catching some big trout at the base of the falls.
Indian Creek Falls
Of the three waterfalls in the area, Indian Creek was my least favorite. I had to crop the image heavily and edit out a bunch of clutter.
I am only inches away from that orchid. I used a Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Tilt-Shift Lens, tilted a bit to keep all parts of the flower in focus. Because the lens is so wide, you can easily see the background in context.
Some would call this a wide-angle close-up.
Instead of using the shift feature I might have done an image stack and get the background sharp as well. In this case, the soft background makes the flower stand out while adding context.
Please check out:
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park – Little Pigeon River – Spring.
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park – Rainbow Falls – Spring
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park – Juney Whank Falls – Deep Creek Area
Those interested in my equipment and recommendations can find it here: Mish’s Equipment List.
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Mike “Mish” Shedlock