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Trip to Rawdon – Waterfall Photoshoot


Way back, about 20yrs ago, I was taking a photography course where we shot on color slide film and would develop the images in the school darkroom. It was a fun class, but was also my last photography class. I took a trip a little north of Montreal to a place call Rawdon. Rawdon is a small little town with a great waterfall just within the city limits. There are two things I had remembered about this waterfall: 1) As far as waterfalls go, it is a pretty good one for taking pictures. 2) There was this campground right by the parking area that had these tall evergreen trees and needles from the tree always blanked the ground. When I went there for my photo course, I took two great pictures. One of the waterfall itself with a wide-angle lens, the other was down stream, just around the corner from the base of the falls.

Since I had to travel close to the area, I headed down to the falls planning to get some great pictures. The day started out perfect with white fluffy clouds and sunlight. When I got there it was gray and heavy overcast. I started taking some pictures of the campgrounds, but really didn’t get anything with great composition. I was getting too much in focus and could have really used a smaller f-stop.

The falls themselves were exactly what I remember. I took a whole bunch of shots even though the sky and light wasn’t really co-operating. I took pictures from the rapids all the way to the falls and back down stream where I had taken my original pictures. It was a good photo shoot as I really found it relaxing.

Old Times

As I was about to leave, the sun started to appear as it went into sunset. I walked around to see if I could get a good shot of the sunset and the waterfall, but the angle was all wrong. I picked up my gear to head back to the car so that I could drive to a public beach that I had gone to when I was a kid. It should have provided a good angle to get the sunset. As I walked back to the car, the sun was hitting the trees perfectly causing great contrast between the tall evergreen trees and the sunlight. I took a few shots, but again didn’t like the composition I was getting.

I jumped in the car, racing the sunset, heading for the public beach. Well, that public beach is no longer there. It is now a row of lake sized properties with pretty nice cars in the driveways. I drove a bit to see if I could get another view, but was probably better taking pictures for the parking lot.

Later that night, I dropped the images onto my computer, and again was disappointed by the focusing. I am not getting that crisp focus I was thinking I should be getting. Lens? Auto-focus? My vision? No idea. Next time for sure I will try manual focus. There is no reason that my old Nikon would take better/clearer images that the camera. It has taken some pretty crisp images before, I am just not getting it consistently.

All the same, it was my first real good photo shoot. I only got 2 images out of it that I liked, but I had a good time.

A Few Comments from the Shoot:

  • Most of my images look better in Black and White when they are taken on an overcast day.
  • My new camera bag was very helpful.
  • You can’t count on the weather, you can just roll with it.
  • I was able to use my iPhone weather app. to time the sunset perfectly. I even used a Stargazing app. to see where the sun would set (didn’t read it perfectly).
  • Now knowing where the sunset falls based on the location will be helpful when I go back.
  • I have to fix the issue with the soft images.
  • One way or another, I will get a good picture of those trees.
  • It is probably a good idea to return to the falls and re-shoot until I figure out what is up with the focus.
  • Gas is cheaper up north.


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