I went to Broke Leg Falls in Menifee County, Kentucky last summer to get a waterfall shot to add to my portfolio. Everyone who photographs nature always has some good waterfall shots. Good waterfall photos are not technically hard to produce if you have a tripod and compose your shot well, and let’s face it they look really nice.
Asking a photographer to produce a waterfall photo is like asking a drummer to play “Wipeout”. When I was going to dances as a preteen and teen, everyone would request “Wipeout” and cease all activity and gather ’round to hear the band play this amazing rhythmic masterpiece. If the drummer pulled it off, then he was forever implanted in the minds of those gathered as an accomplished percussionist.
Now I am not saying those of you who will see this photo will think of me as an accomplished photographer…but I can play “Wipeout” on the dashboard of my car while driving 75 on the interstate.
Anyway, I set up my tripod at this spot since I could see the setting sun and I thought it would add something to the shot. I set my f-stop at f/22 because this gives a good starburst effect and you can shoot at a slow speed to give the waterfall the blurr effect everyone likes.
I remember going to Broke Leg Falls with my parents’ Sunday School class for picnics when I was young and I thought it was a magical place. The kids would run all over and our parents seemed oblivious as to where we were. We would show up in time to eat…go off exploring again and show up when it was time to leave. I had my 23 year-old daughter and her boyfriend with me and I was always aware of where they were every second while I was taking pictures.
When questioning my dad about the seemingly lack of oversight from his generation on us kids when we were somewhere like Broke Leg Falls, he would always say, “I thought you had enough sense to stay on the paths and not go over the falls.”
I saw Broke Leg Falls a few months after the tornado. I knew it was going to be devastating and I could not bring myself to go and see. When I did finally get the nerve to go, I was very saddened at the sight, like seeing that aged rock star at the Super Bowl halftime show. I don’t know how you can tear up a waterfall, but that is what happened. I left with the feeling that another piece of my childhood will never be seen again.
If you like this photo, you may see others here.