The Montmorency Falls: water in all its phases


I spent last weekend in Quebec City and took a drive to the Montmorency Falls, just East of the city. Actually, my main motivation was to test drive my new ride but I did stop to shoot some pictures.

The main waterfall is 84-meter high, approximately 275 feet for the metrically-challenged out there ;). A large mound of ice covered in snow forms at its base in winter due to freezing of the spray and mist. It is called ”Le pain de sucre” or Sugarloaf in English.

The Falls are a very popular tourist destination in Quebec City. I wanted to capture the sight differently by shooting only part of it with a long telephoto (400 mm) as opposed to shooting it in its entirety. Also by shooting only part of it, there is no sign of civilization, making the scene more generic. I like the fact that the image could be set anywhere (cold).

The strong perspective compression puts the main waterfall much closer to the Sugarloaf than in reality. I waited until people climbed the Sugarloaf and shot the wall of water, wall of ice and snow-covered mound with one person for reference of scale. There is no color information of interest whatsoever in the picture so it is a natural candidate for black & white conversion.

I used to do the opposite, i.e. wait until there is nobody in the frame for landscapes. Now I think that I will mix and match shots with people and without because for this specific instance, I think that image works much better because of the presence of a person. Funny enough, the dude in the frame just took a picture and is reviewing on the LCD screen. Little does he know that he is also serving as a reference of scale for another image! This is a case of the photographer photographed…

Equipment: Canon DSLR D Mk II, Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS lens, RAW conversion using Lightroom 4.1


11 thoughts on “The Montmorency Falls: water in all its phases

    • Thanx Bella! Actually this image is an eye-opener for me. Not only I included a person but I used a telephoto for a landscape shot. Normally, I am hooked on wide angles but I really like this picture so I will definitely haul a telephoto around for landscapes from now on.

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