Feature Image 13 May 2016

Exploring Falling Foss with the Manfrotto 3N1-35L

As a landscape photographer, I absolutely love living in the UK, because it offers such a wide variety of scenery and I’m never more than just a few hours away from some amazing places. From dramatic coast lines to expansive moorland, wondrous mountain ranges to stunning lakes, the UK has the lot  The original plan for this trip was to go South to the Peak District, but the weather forecast was quite bad, so instead we decided to head North. The day before, I checked and cleaned all of my gear and packed it into the Manfrotto 3N1-35L ready for our outing.

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My good friend and fellow photographer, Tom Adamson (www.tomadamsonphotography.co.uk) joined me on the trip and we were both hoping for a great day. We left at around 4:45am and the plan was to hit the coast for sunrise. We got to Fraisthorpe beach on the Yorkshire coast just before the sun came up, but unfortunately for us, a storm was skimming the coast and blocked the sunrise. After a quick rain shower, we attempted a few shots and I took the opportunity to get a product shot of the bag and then we got back in the car and set off to our destination.

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Our destination for today was Falling Foss, a waterfall located on May Beck that runs through the North Yorkshire Moors and on previous visits, the beck had always been rather low and the fall quite slow, but due to a week of rain, we were thrilled to see the beck full and flowing at a rate that neither Tom or myself had ever seen before. The sun wasn’t fully up, so we set up on the bank of the beck near the bridge and started working on some compositions to see what we could capture.

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The sun was up, but still low in the sky and in this shot, the sun was positioned just behind the bridge. I was downstream, so I decided to do a long exposure shot. I got my composition and then stacked a .9 and a .6 Kood hard ND grad filter to tone down the sky. The result was this 6 second exposure of the bridge and a smooth flow of water running under it.

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Once we had the shots that we wanted of the bridge, we packed our gear back into our bags and set off down the track to get to the waterfall.

The first part was easy, as it was a footpath, but to get to the fall, we had to break away from the path and make our way down the steep and rather high embankment of May Beck. The rain had made the ground very difficult to walk on and at more than one point we struggled to find a way through the very boggy woodland, but we pushed on and after some slips and falls, we made it to the bottom of Falling Foss. This part of the trip is where I noticed just how stable the bag was on my back.

The amount of water coming over the top was amazing for a fall of this size and didn’t leave us much room at the bottom. We sat our bags on some rocks and set about looking for some good compositions that would keep us out of the way of all of the spray coming off of the fall. My best shot was this six second exposure using a .9 grad filter to tone down the sky. The fall was quite shaded from the sun, so a long exposure was required to light up the left hand side of the frame and I’m very happy with how the image turned out.

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After gathering various images of the fall, we packed up and started our journey back down the beck. On the way back I had a go at one last image of this fallen tree that had created a nice feature on the beck. The sun was very bright at this point in the day, so I grabbed my Haida 10 stop ND filter and did a five minute exposure.

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The Manfrotto 3N1-35L is a very versatile bag and fits all of my requirements. Being out on a day like this, hiking up and down hills, through boggy woodland and along a beck, the weight of a bag is very important and even with what I have in it for this trip (Nikon D7100, 4 lenses, flashgun, filters, other accessories and my 1936 Zeiss Ikon Ikoflex twin lens camera) it didn’t feel too heavy. The thick shoulder straps are very comfortable and when adjusted correctly, keep the bag in place and the waist strap, when required adds extra stability. I have tried the different strap options, but for most of my trips, I think that the backpack is the way to go. I used the sling option when walking around my local city centre, but that isn’t something I do very often and I honestly don’t know if I would ever feel the need to use the double sling option, although I imagine it would be helpful if the wearer was following a moving subject like a parade or a race. The amount of pockets this bag has is brilliant and now I don’t have to have everything in one place like I did with my previous bag. The bottom section is well equipped to take my camera body and all four of my lenses and also has room for more should I purchase a new lens. The well padded bottom is also very good at keeping my gear safe when setting the bag down. The large top compartment is ideal for holding my filter system, gloves, torches, my Zeiss Ikoflex and other items. The laptop compartment on the back is also something I never had on my previous bag, but find this very useful, as I always take my laptop away with me if I go away for a few day and the fact that it can house my 15’’ laptop is great. I would highly recommend this bag to any photographer.

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This day with me