Falls Creek Falls

Falls Creek Falls

The Shot

Falls Creek Falls in eastern Idaho is one of the more difficult water falls I’ve ever photographed. The challenge was dark shadows on the falls and bright sunlight highlighting the opposite shore and the mountains in the background.

This shot was taken on a late August afternoon. I had left Grand Teton National Park in the early afternoon and was driving west toward Washington. I stopped at the small community of Swan Valley to grab a snack and a cold drink and ask for directions to Falls Creek Falls. This was late afternoon and I still needed to drive for several more hours to get to Salmon, Idaho where I would spend the night.

My webmaster had seen a photo of the falls gracing the cover of a magazine and requested that I capture photos of it. I followed the directions obtained at the Swan Valley store and found myself driving on a dirt road paralleling the Snake River. Still could not see the falls until I doubled back. I soon spotted the falls off to my right. I stopped and walked a few yards to a cliff overlooking the Snake River and finally saw the falls. I was standing at the edge of a cliff as the sun was rapidly descending. But I managed to catch a few shots without falling off the cliff and made it to my motel in Salmon, Idaho close to midnight. I only learned much later that the photo on the magazine was taken from a boat such as the fishing boat seen here.

I was shooting with a Nikon D300 set at ISO 100 with a 12-24mm f/4 lens at f22.0 at 1/4th mounted on a Manfrotto tripod.

The Spot

Falls Creek Falls is located on the Snake River just below (south of) a bridge on US Highway 26 that crosses the river about two miles from the small community of Swan Valley (population 204 in 2010) in eastern Idaho’s Bonneville County.

GPS Coordinates: Latitude: 43, 26.4436 north; Longitude: 111, 22.6442 west; Elevation: 1627 meters/5338 feet.