The Chocolate Falls

(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark ii, rokinon 14mm 2.8, f/18, iso 50, 5 seconds // buy print)

Word of a flash flood hitting the Little Colorado river in northern Arizona Saturday evening changed everything I had planned for Sunday. My buddy Dee Nichols and I had been waiting for something like this for awhile, and it meant being in Grand Falls Sunday night and likely camping out.

The falls were dry when we arrived, aside from some pools of water still lingering from previous floods. Dee predicted when the water would arrive and it came 25 minutes early. Sadly, it was pitch black out, no moon and it was practically impossible to see the flood come in from up on the high cliffs.

The sound though…was amazing. Like someone had opened up a valve upstream.

Here is a shot from this morning. Lyla and I camped out in the back of the 4Runner, woke up before sunrise to get some shots of the falls before heading home. No luck with color or cool clouds, but all that might do is take away from the beauty of the water. Dirty, muddy water that is churned up sediment from the rush of a flash flood. Misty spray from the falls coating our tripods, cameras and vehicles in what one might think was a light coat of brown spray paint.

Also notice the debris pool spinning in a big circle . Awesomeness.

I have some before and after videos, plus more images, to come at a later date.

12 replies
  1. Cap'n Schwartz
    Cap'n Schwartz says:

    So you heard it and did t see it eh? Did the sound of all that running water make you wanna pee!

  2. Kim Rormark
    Kim Rormark says:

    Fantastic image and your patience waiting for the right moment was worth while. I like all your images an specially the lightning shoots are incredible. Great work.

  3. Paul (750volts!)
    Paul (750volts!) says:

    Mike your shots are artwork! Thank you for posting in my thread on ADVrider. I linked your website and hope that it increased your traffic. My wife is an amateur photographer and has had many of her pictures used without permission. I hope that me linking your site rather than taking your picture is a good idea. If not please let me know. I am seriously in awe of your work, Paul

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] our trip to Grand Falls back in August, we had a lot of waiting to do before the flash flood showed up. And it got dark. So as […]

  2. […] Scott: Chocolate Falls (Mike Olbinski); Klaus Dyba on the PocketWizard blog […]

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