Shooting Waterfalls with Kodak Ektar 100

Minyon Falls is located in Nightcap National Park in Northern NSW, Australia and plunges over ancient volcanic cliffs into the beautifully dark sub-tropical rainforest below.

It is a popular day hike to the base of the falls and can often be crowded with travelers from up and down the coast.

I visited after recent rains broke our summer drought and brought along two cameras. A medium format Yashica 635 and the much smaller Rollei 35SE to shoot with both 120 and 35mm formats.

This trip I was trying to be more selective with my medium format images on the Yashica, opting to spend more time and take fewer shots to improve my compositions.

My little Rollei was a first time hiker after a lucky purchase and light seal repairs. So I was a bit more experimental for the 35mm Rollei images whilst I practiced zone focusing and metering by eye.

Many of my pre sunrise images on the Rollei were under or over by a stop or two, but once the light settled after sunrise I found more comfort reading the light and getting cleaner exposures.

The Yashica performed perfectly even under soaking mist at the base of the falls which I was sure would be ruined but came out great.

I had a second roll but never felt like running through it on the Yashica, consistency pays off when you spend more time before winding more film!

It was a bit more difficult framing with the longer Yashica lens in the tight, busy forest and cascades at the base but I had to at least try and capture the scenery because it was magic.

The wider Rollei made this much easier for similar scenes.

I found myself enjoying the easier and faster pace for snapshots using the Rollei, and not needing to focus or meter made the workflow much quicker than I am used to.

But taking time for particular shots that were more artistic had me reverting back to the slower, more patient approach with the larger and more comfortable Yashica.

I’ll need to keep working on zone focus and reading light to get the hang of the Rollei as a true all purpose pocket camera but it’s super compact size and low weight make it ideal for longer hikes.

About the author

Jeremy Billett

Jeremy is a passionate landscape photographer based in Australia sharing his experiences on location and photographing remote and wilderness areas.

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