Mathinna Falls, 2018, 1st Aug
Tessa and I didn’t set out for Mathinna Falls until after lunch (in Launceston). The days are winter-short, but google said it would only take two hours to get there (correct), and about ten minutes to walk from the carpark to the falls (also correct). We were thus at the falls by 3.30 pm, which should have been just about perfect. The day was sunny, but the valley which cuddles these falls is steep and closed in, so no sun was present to glare up the water. It was actually quite dark and gloomy in there, even at that hour, and seemed much later. My early shots have a slightly golden tinge up where the sun could reach.
I chose gumboots for this journey, figuring there’d be a lot of water, and off we set. Good choice: water burst the banks and spilled out over sections of the track. The falls could be heard thundering and crashing up ahead. I was worried about Tessa being stupid, but she was frightened, and stuck very close to me the whole time. Just a quick drink was enough for her to feel the mighty force of this water.
I was worried that the force of the water might pose tripod problems, but, well, that’s the reason I chose sirui, and it didn’t let me down: my tripod stood as solid as a rock in the rushing, pounding stream. There is no problem with sharpness in my images. My problems are mine alone, and have to do with the enormous dynamic range between the very dark foreground and side frames, and the overly light falls, made very bright by the massive volume of water. I had a similar problem in Iceland. You need to do exposure blending, and you need to have photos of very different exposures. I didn’t go fast enough on the falls part of the shot. I need to be more extreme next time in this situation. I thought I had it covered, but I wasn’t quite right.
My boots were an interesting choice when it came time to climb up to the next two levels of falls. I found they were very slippery indeed on the rocks, and, as I didn’t feel like packing everything away for that climb, I negotiated the tricky climb with my camera and its filters plus tripod in one hand, leaving only the other hand for clinging to obstacles to stop me sliding backwards. I’m afraid I looked (and was) cumbersome and clumsy – not for the first time in my life. Anyway, I got there, and I saw a beautiful waterfall, and learned some valuable lessons for next time. Sunset behind Stacks Bluff on the way home was a treat.
I chose the longer but faster (for me) route via Fingal. From there, I headed north to Mathinna, and took the road over the bridge heading for Ringarooma. After that turn, there are signs to the Mathinna Falls. It’s a pity they’re not signed from Mathinna itself. The cyan line above begins at the carpark.