Situated just off the main Milford Track trail, Mackay Falls is one of those things you hear before you see it. I turned off the main trail, following the narrow dirt path towards the viewing platform, wight he sound of pounding water growing more intense with each step forward. Coming into view of the Falls, the mist floated along the water with the wind, hovering when the wind died down.

I set up my tripod on the viewing platform, there being no other place to easily and safely to do so. I framed the image to get everything from near to far, and knowing I wanted the water to be flowing through the entire image. I also wanted the image to be as sharp as possible, a challenge given the depth of the image.

All of this required the use of a serious neutral density filter (9 stops) and focus stacking. Because I wanted significant detail as well, I created this image as a vertical panorama. All in all, six images and about three minutes later, this is the scene I had captured. A little bit more work putting everything together and we have what you see here.

One of the small details I like about this image is the fact that some of the vegetation is moving with the wind, given the long exposure time, while other vegetation is perfectly still. It was a great scene to see, and challenging one to capture, and one where I could feel the power of nature as I worked to get the image I wanted.

Equipment: Nikon D800E, Zeiss 35mm f/2 ZF.2; Really Right Stuff TCV-24L and BH-40, PG-02 Pro Omni-Pivot Package.

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