Noble Falls Photo Walk – Part 2
Last time we visited Noble Falls in Gidgegannup there was barely a trickle of water flowing over the rocks. Not so this time, the falls are in full flow and a truly amazing sight to see.
The weather was perfect, blue skies and puffy white clouds making it an ideal day for a hike around Noble Falls along Wooroloo Brook and back the other side. Also great conditions for taking some photos of this beautiful area.
The falls themselves are visible from the car park and can be approached from either side with ease. Despite being so close to the road and car park it retains that feeling of being out in the natural world.
As I mentioned above the falls are in full flow, allowing for some amazing long(ish) exposures to be captured.
I generally avoid using filters so getting long exposures during the daytime can be a bit of a challenge. I do sometimes use a Neutral Density filter to get much longer exposure times but in this instance I was able to achieve shutter speeds of around 1/5th sec which still gives the water a nice smooth look.
Anything lower than around 1/30th sec will start to give you that flowing effect on the water, just make sure you’re using a tripod.
Maggie has acquired a new-found interest in photography lately and I managed to pull myself away from the myriad of natural photo opportunities to grab this shot of her using her iPhone to get some pics of the incredibly colourful Wattle bushes.
You can see one of Maggie’s Wattle pics in Part 1 of this blog series.
The two available walk trails both start on the north side of Wooroloo Brook and follow the river to the north-west as it meanders through the bush.
The paths are very well maintained and signposted and so are easily accessible to anyone with a moderate level of fitness.
The shorter trail is 1.5 km return and great if you just want to see the falls and a bit of the river. It doesn’t take long to reach the first bridge across the river which signals the return crossing for this shorter trail.
The photo opportunities here are endless, especially at this time of year and with such perfect weather.
All around the ground was covered with a lush green carpet which was teaming with small yellow flowers showing the signs of the beginning of our wildflower season.
Contrasting the lush green was the typically Western Australian red dirt that made up the soil and trail paths.
Standing on the first bridge is a nice spot to get some photos up and down the river.
Shortly after bypassing the bridge over Wooroloo Brook for the shorter trail we came across a shallow ford which created a mini version of Noble Falls, less spectacular but still an amazing sight.
It’s well worth the extra distance to see the ford even if you’re going to turn around and return to the first bridge.
The walk along the fast flowing river was unbelievably luscious & green, spring really is a great time of year to be out in nature.
After following the river for a while the path opens up onto a bitumen road, Kooringal Vale, and then turns left on to Brennan Rise for a while.
According to the trail guide (which we were not using) there is a dry weather optional route here which takes a left down onto the “Kangaroo Track” and then back up to Kooringal Vale.
Sadly, we didn’t notice any signs so we missed the “Kangaroo Track” but I would recommend taking this track for a slightly more interesting walk.
Note to self, always take a trail guide with you!
Continue along Brennan Rise across the Wooroloo Brook bridge and rejoin the dirt trail at the corner of Brennan Rise & Old Coach Road.
Rejoin the Dirt Trail, Noble Falls, Perth, Western Australia
From here the trail continues back along the river towards Noble Falls. Again, having the trail guide will help you take the correct route as there are two possible paths you could take.
The trail guide recommends you take a left to the lower fire-break path which follows the river however we missed the sign and went straight on following the higher fire-break path which you will eventually join anyway. Either way the views are still amazing 🙂
Whichever route you took you’ll eventually come across a sharp bend in the river offering another great photo opportunity.
What forest wouldn’t be complete without an old rusty car wreck? Not to disappoint there is one just off the path here not far past the river bend. It always pays to keep your eyes open.
Did I mention lots of great photo opportunities!
Not much further along you’ll find yourself approaching Toodyay Road and returning to Noble Falls end the end of the walk trail.
By now it was approaching 5pm and the sun was getting low enough to add some nice coloured light to the scenery, however from this side of the river it was getting tricky to get a decent shot of the falls without lens flare or exposure problems.
If you do want to get some photo’s at this time of day make sure that you keep the sun’s flare outside of the field of view and use a lens hood to minimise the risks.
As you can see below I still got a bit of lens flare and the edges of the clouds are blown out, but if I had turned my camera any further to the right too much of the image would have become overexposed.
Another way to approach situations like this would be to use a tripod and take multiple exposures which can be merged later on with software such as Adobe Lightroom.
When shooting into the sun becomes a problem I like to try a few different ideas such as switching to a longer lens and getting in close for a few abstract shots …
or some cool reflections …
Noble Falls is definitely a great place to visit for a day out in the Perth Hills with plenty of photo opportunities, amazing scenery and 2 walk trails to choose from.
There are plenty of facilities at Noble Falls too, there’s a big car park, a picnic & barbecue area, toilets and the Noble Falls Tavern is just across the road with stunning views over the falls and very good quality food.
We highly recommend making a trip there any time of year but early spring when the water is flowing and the weather is good would be the best.
Also you can take your dog there too 🙂
When visiting natural environments such as this please be respectful of the flora and fauna, take your litter home and treat the environment with respect.
Leave No Trace
Take Nothing but Pictures
Leave Nothing but Footprints
Kill Nothing but Time
Keep Nothing But Memories
Burn Nothing but Calories
“Take only memories, leave nothing but footprints.”
~ Quote: Chief Seattle (Dkhw’Duw’Absh chief, c. 1786 – June 7, 1866)
“This we know: the earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth.”
~ Quote: Chief Seattle (Dkhw’Duw’Absh chief, c. 1786 – June 7, 1866)
“We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love… and then we return home.”
~ Australian Aboriginal Proverb
All images in this article I took on my Canon 5D MKII with an EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Lens or an EF 70-200mm f4L USM Lens unless otherwise stated and processed in Lightroom CC & ON1 Photo 10.5 & Photoshop CC.
Shooting Long Exposures
A tripod is pretty much essential for getting good results with long exposures.
You can get a water trail effect with exposures longer than 1/30th sec but around 1/5th sec or longer will give a better result. the best way to learn is to experiment with different settings.
To achieve longer exposure times you can do 1 or more of the following:
- Reduce your ISO to the minimum setting, this will have no effect on image quality.
- Shoot later in the day when the natural light is lower, this will have no effect on image quality unless it is too dark to use lower ISO settings.
- Use a Neutral Density and / or a Polarising filter, this will affect image quality marginally depending on the quality of the filters you use.
- Reduce your aperture setting to it’s minimum (usually around F22 or higher). This will have minimal effect on image quality depending on your lens.Reduce your ISO to the minimum setting, this will have no effect on image quality.
- Overexpose your image by increasing your shutter speed with your camera’s exposure compensation function or manually. This will effect the quality of your image depending on how much you overexpose the image and how good your are at post processing your images. Always bear in mind that overexposed highlights are much harder to recover in post processing.
- Place a tissue over the front of your lens, this will result in a terrible photo and give everyone around you a good laugh 🙂
Get Good Photo Editing Software
You will need to post process your images to get the most out of them. Software tools such as Adobe Lightroom & On1 Photo 10.5 are affordable and essential for getting the best out of your photos.
Free trials or licensed products are available for Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop & ON1 Photo 10.5 at the following links:
- Lightroom Free Trial or Purchase
- Photoshop Free Trial or Purchase
- ON1 Photo 10.5 Free Trial or Purchase
Related Clothing & Photo Products
We’re planning whole range of clothing & products featuring our “Noble Falls” images here are a few samples of what we have in our store:
- Gidgegannup.info – Noble Falls Walk Trail
- City of Swan Noble Falls Walk Trail Brochure
- Trails WA – Noble Falls Walk Trail, Gidgegannup
- The Life of Py – Noble Falls Trail Notes
- Experience Perth – Perth’s Top Walking Trails
Noble Falls is located just of Toodyay Road in the township of Gidgegannup, City of Swan approx 40 km northeast of Perth.