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Today I am going to do a Behind the Shot look at one of my images. The image for today was first shown in the Best of Nine post earlier this year. It is an image of Broken Rock Falls in Hocking Hills State Park.

Jeffrey Tadlock Photography - Broken Rock Falls

I’ll write a little bit about the trip there, some of the gear used, and some of the camera settings. All accompanied with some behind the shot photos for added flavor!

Broken Rock Falls

Broken Rock Falls is located in Hocking Hills State Park near Logan, Ohio. The falls is in the Old Man’s Cave region of the park. Despite my having hiked in the area many, many times I had never visited Broken Rock Falls because I didn’t even know it was there!

Prior to one of our trips to the area this fall, I did some research on Hocking Hills waterfalls and saw a reference to this one. Particularly attractive was that it seemed relatively unknown despite being in one of the busier parts of the park!

Hiking at Broken Rock FallsThe Hike

My daughter and I had a late start for this hike, which never bodes well for people free images, but it was a nice day and we headed to the park anyways. After spending a little bit of time at Cedar Falls before it got too crowded, we headed over to the Old Man’s Cave area of the park.

Broken Rock Falls is just past Lower Falls on a side trail a lot of people likely don’t even see. As you leave Lower Falls, instead of heading left across the arching bridge, head to the right and up the steps that climb the side of the gorge. Where the trail winds around to the right, there is a spur trail that heads off to the left. Follow that trail to the left and follow it until you reach the falls. It really isn’t that long of a hike, it just is on an often overlooked trail.

With Lower Falls being crowded on the day we were there, our hope was that Broken Rock Falls would prove as little visited as I had read. Sure enough, we reached the falls and there were only two other people there!

There was some trail construction going on when we were there, it looked like there might have been a concrete bridge or walkway that helped you get closer to a prime viewing point of the falls. When we were there, the trail ended at about a 10’ drop-off to the bottom of the falls.

Of course, for the picture I wanted – I wanted to be down towards the bottom of the falls. My daughter was quite skeptical that I would find a “safe” way down – she apparently forgot that I’ve spent many years hiking in the backcountry what what could best be described as “traces” at best!

It didn’t take long to find a relatively easy route that wound its way to where I wanted to be. My daughter reluctantly followed. We found the spot I wanted and got all setup.

Behind the Shot

For this image I wanted to be at the base of the falls at an angle that allowed me to capture the water flowing between the broken rock. I found a spot to setup up the tripod and set about making some pictures.

I like the milky smooth water from waterfalls, so I tend towards longer exposures to capture that feel. With that said I will typically take a number of exposures to get the one I am happy with. I also used my wide angle Tokina 12-24mm lens which I find as my go-to lens for a lot of the landscape images I do (that or my 35mm lens).

Camera setup at Broken Rock FallsHere’s my equipment list for this image:

  • Nikon d7200
  • Tokina 12-24mm
  • Rokinon/SP Tripod Stand (see note below)
  • Lowepro Slingshot Edge 250

The tripod is something I plan on upgrading one day, but that tripod despite being on the heavy side, not the most stable of all things – was the tripod my Dad used to use back in the 1980’s! It is still my day-to-day tripod for now.

I hope you enjoyed this behind the shot look at this image. I plan on doing a few more of these in future posts for those curious!