Seraphim Falls

(image can be viewed larger with a sweet black border if you click on it. you know you want to…)

Coming up with a title for this image for Movie Title Wednesday was kind of difficult. Most of the movies that came to mind I either didn’t remember much about, or really didn’t think fit too well. My wife liked Legends of the Fall, but I think I’ll save that for when the leaves change down the road. There was The Grand, or The Majestic…or even one that seems to fit perfectly…A River Runs Through It. But again, I don’t remember much about it other than Brad Pitt was in it and that I was a senior in high school! Ack! There was also The River Wild with Meryl Streep…but I didn’t like that either.

In the endSeraphim Falls was the title. I highly doubt most of you have seen it, but it’s definitely worth renting. Pierce Brosnan is hiding in the Rocky Mountains just after the Civil War has ended and Liam Neeson is a Confederate Colonel who wants the man killed to avenge a wrong. It all goes back to something that happened at Seraphim Falls…which you eventually discover.

I loved the title of the movie when I first heard it. I wanted to make it fit here but wasn’t quite sure EXACTLY what Seraphim meant, so I looked it up and was pumped when it has a rough translation of “burning ones.” Sure, it’s kind of a stretch, but when you think of a sunset and the fiery red skies you tend to get…it works.

Last weekend I got up at 3am to meet three other photogs to go up north and shoot all day. Despite all the fun I had and the pictures I took…this one shot above of Grand Falls was my entire reason for going. I’m not saying this about the photograph itself, but more about the scene.  Ever since I visited for the first time last year and had boring blue skies, I’ve been dreaming of getting back there and capturing a gorgeous sunset. It was like the entire day boiled down to this span of five minutes when the sky changed color.

The fact that we even got color was amazing. The sun was stuck behind some very thick clouds and as it got darker and darker…I thought that was it. Nothing was coming through that. And then suddenly in the northeast the clouds turned red. My heart jumped. I started waving at the other guys to point it out. People started moving around excitedly. Slowly the color moved westward until…for what was probably less than a minute…the sky looked as it did in the photo above.

Then it was gone.

I loved the day, loved the time spent with friends and especially loved that my wife and daughter were up there to share this with me.  Last year’s trip was exciting, but this one will be the one I remember always.

(of course, until I go back next year…have some fun ideas for 2012)

(exif: canon eos 5d mark ii, tamron 17-35mm 2.8, 17mm, f/10, iso 200)


23 replies
  1. Chris Nitz
    Chris Nitz says:

    Absolutely amazing shot Mike. Love all the color and contrast between the browns of the ground/water and the blues/reds of the sky. Great image!

  2. Rob (@rbp2)
    Rob (@rbp2) says:

    Superb framing! Love the write-up as well… glad you had a wonderful time. I think we sometimes forget that when we are with family AND photographing, we get wrapped up in the photography part; happy you didn’t!

  3. Jerry Denham
    Jerry Denham says:

    Always look forward to Movie Title Wednesdays, but combining that with a spectacular shot of these waterfalls just makes it that much better. Just goes to show that even though this is a phenominal photo, it is the experience that stays with you. Epic image Mike.

  4. Scott Wood
    Scott Wood says:

    I love it. I am happy to say that I was one of the ones that grabbed gear and moved when Mike started waving his arms around like a mad man. 🙂 Thanks to Mike’s antics, I have one more image I plan on posting as well. 🙂

  5. Mike
    Mike says:

    Wish I had time to respond to everyone, work is so crazy busy right now, it sucks 🙁

    But I appreciate all the kind words and comments today! I love this image and it means a lot that it strikes home with you guys too!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] We last visited on April 2nd, my buddies Rick, Ken, Chris and then a bunch of other people showed up late in the day, like my wife, daughter and some other friends. This was taken at the bottom of the falls as the sun was beginning to the disappear behind me. I wanted to get a shot with the light shining off the falls before I hiked back up in time for the sunset (a shot you can see here). […]

  2. […] Mike Olbinski, Ryan Young, Scott Wood and Chris Frailey share the “photography from awesome places I want to visit” award this week with their pictures from The Grand Falls in Arizona. Although now that I think about it, I might have been here sometime around the age of 5… I remember throwing rocks into water that looked like this. Hmm, I’ll have to check with my dad on this one. Anyway, It’s really cool to see the differences in lighting and processing on each of their shots – check them out! […]

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