Between a Bad Plan and a Hard Place

With the lure of expressing yourself with a camera there's dedication, inspiration, and a whole bunch of curiosity, even the cat kind...Mix that with a bit of adventure, one can find oneself in some unusual  outdoor places. When you are starting out in this medium some like to stay close to home and discover subjects close by, while others like to venture further out. This region of Ontario has its share of some uniquely sculptured landscapes which stirred my newly found passion. For me it was a world of landscapes, waterfalls, and setting suns.This little tale I will share gave me a valuable experience in "planning" not one of my strengths, after all like me, photography is inherently spontaneous. Rockwood was one of many places, and I would arrive there at about 1am in the morning, chasing after moonlit waterfalls. The Rockwood falls are small but beautiful to behold especially in the moonlight. I was there so often that when park officials were doing their rounds they would just drive by and wave. I became a fixture sitting out there all night beside my camera. I was inspired to find more. After discovering Websters Falls in the Halton region, there was another one nearby, a much higher one. I knew this would be big challenge. There are lots of great pictures of these falls but mostly from the top. Now that I had some experience in planning the best nights for these opportunities. My bold plan was to climb down in the gorge for an amazing perspective, but there was no man made access, but I found a way. The plan was, a balmy April night, clear sky, and a full moon, that would make this one hundred and eighty foot high waterfall come alive with fast flowing melt water. Altogether would offer the best timing I would ever get to capture it. It was a challenging descent. The first fifty feet was a series of rocky outcrops that were easy enough to handle. But then there was a very steep section that seemed to go on forever. It was a slippery slope with just a bunch of seedlings to hold on to. Carefully placed footing was the only way to negotiate this abysmal chasm. When I finally got to the bottom I was met with some almost impenetrable brush, logs and rocks. I had at least another one fifty yards to get around the point to the prize. I must have gotten half way when a shocking revelation hit, everything was perfect, but I didn't plan on how I was going to get out! It was now dusk with only minutes of light left. I had to make the heartbreaking decision to get out. I also realized there was no moonlight on the way up eather, so it was get out or be fished out by the fire department, called by a very worried wife waiting at the top. It was a race with the darkness. It was the most physically challenging climb I ever made. I was so dehydrated I must have drank a gallon of water after. So now  with great hindsight, no matter what kind of photo project I take on it will always include my now most illuminated aspect of the creative process...the planning.

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