Gunlock State Park Utah Waterfall

Gunlock State Park is a state park of Utah, USA, adjoining the 266-acre Gunlock Reservoir that impounds the Santa Clara River. The park is located approximately 15 miles northwest of St George. The reservoir dam was constructed in 1970 for irrigation water and flood control. 

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We moved to Utah three years ago July. This Spring is the first time there was any water in the falls. After a very wet winter, the waterfall started running in late March. It is still running now.

The first couple of weeks at the falls were a total zoo with hundreds of people milling about. Visitors are much lower now, but the best time then and now is still at sunrise.

I visited the park four or five times at sunrise and the first time at sunset. There are too many people most evenings to get great images.

Normally, waterfalls and sun do not mix but this is first light with the sun peaking over mountains in the East. A bit later the shadows were very hash.

Here are additional images I captured on other days.

These images all have four things in common: I used a polarizer, a neutral density filter, I focus stacked, and I ISO stacked. Focus stacking means focusing on various spots and blending the images,

Most of the water exposures were 10-20 seconds, even the sunlit images. But 20 seconds and sharp tree leaves do not mix. For parts of images that contain vegetation, I used higher ISOs and/or removed the neutral density filter.

The third image in particular benefitted from these techniques.

Apologies for the delay since my last post. Much more coming up shortly.


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Mike “Mish” Shedlock

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