My friend Marcia loves to hike. It is not a good idea to hike alone, so she invites other hikers to join her on a hike about once a week. Every year she has a 4th of July hike followed by a cook-out at her house. Marcia is not a photographer and likes to hike fairly quickly, so there is usually little time to take photographs. I use her hikes to scout new trails or find out what is blooming or how many logs and branches are currently blocking a waterfall.
This year she lead a hike to both Bradley Falls – Big and Little. The trailheads are located on either side of the road near Saluda NC. I had not visited either waterfall before the hike. I knew there were a number of stream crossings and some challenging hiking, so I decided to just take my iPhone. Big Bradley Falls is more dangerous. The main path was wide, but the side paths leading to the overlooks were steep, full of drop offs with big rocks and roots. Big Bradley is about 75 feet tall, but we could only see it from a distance. Getting down to the base of the falls is extremely steep and people have fallen to their death over the years.
The trail to Little Bradley Falls was not as bad, but still had a number of stream crossings and rock scrambles. It was worth the hike. Little Bradley Falls is a 35 ft multitiered falls and quite stunning. It must have rained the night before because the water was high and muddy. I used an app on my iPhone called SlowShutter which keeps the shutter open longer to smooth the water. It also shows any movement in the people.
For the rest of my photos of Little Bradley Falls, I used my attachable Lensbaby for iPhone. I used the LM-30 Refracted lens because it is fun. I practiced on my feet. I had been hiking in hiking boots, but after the 3rd crossing I got tired of changing between boots and sandals and just wore my sandals.
I used the Lensbaby LM-10 which has a small sweet spot for the last photo. I chose an area for the iPhone to focus on and then it placed a nice blur on the background. Lensbaby Mobile lenses are useful in toning down backgrounds or in the case of the Refracted lens, framing the subject. It is also a good way to see if you enjoy shooting with the Lensbaby lenses for mirrorless or DSLR camera bodies.