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Charming Cascade | Mangatini Falls

An hour's jaunt up the Ngakawau Gorge, is perhaps one of the best waterfalls on the West Coast. While the entire Charming Creek Walkway takes between 3-5 hours to walk or bike, this landmark is undoubtedly the highlight, and well worth a visit.

This pathway is decorated with debri from timber milling and coal-mining during the early 1900s. Much of the historic tramway is visible, and the trail passes through many tunnels. An impressive suspension bridge gives access to the true right bank. The Department of Conservation rate this journey as one of the best short walks in NZ. What makes this cascade so unusual, is the reflection. When have you last seen a waterfall mirrored in the river below?

To frame the falls, I used the canyon wall and the blackened bough of a tree. This keeps the viewer's eye locked into the photograph. To blur the water, I fitted a 3-stop ND filter onto my wide-angle lens. This prevents light from entering the camera, effectively lengthening the shutter speed to several seconds.

In post, I corrected the Magenta colour cast from my ND filter. In Photoshop I used the very popular Nik Effects suite plug-ins to enhance the details and mid-tone contrast. Using a Layer Mask, I selectively sharpened the solid elements, while leaving the water alone.


Camera Settings: Canon 5D Mk II | 29mm | 8 seconds | f22 | ISO 50 | Formatt Hi-Tech 3-stop ND Filter

If camera settings are still confusing for you, enroll in my Discover Your DSLR course! I teach you step by step how to use the buttons and dials on your camera. This on-line course can be self-paced, or I will drip-feed it by email, week by week.

Keyword: landscape photography south island nz

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