Panther Creek Falls Photography Guide

Admittedly this was not my most professional moment as a photography instructor. I was teaching a workshop and patiently waited for all of my students to get their shots. I have a policy of putting the shooting needs of my students before my own.

Behind The Shot

Once everyone had confirmed that they had no objections to me spending 5 minutes getting a shot I was off. I’d had my eye on a particular composition for some time as there was a large trio of trees that had fallen across the creek in one big drop. Where some people saw fallen trees I saw a bridge.

The bum shuffle of death ensued as I dragged my soggy behind along the 30ft of fallen mossy tree that bridged the creek 10 ft below. A fall would have resulted in a likely drowning with a best case scenario of certain maiming. I wasn’t thinking about this though, I was thinking about this shot.

After a successful crossing of ‘The Bridge of Calamity’ I climbed under the roots of the tree with tripod and camera bag. It took me more time to secure my tripod on the slimy rocks than it took to get the shot.

By focusing on the mossy cliff walls in the distance and setting my aperture to f/22 I was able to capture the depth of field I needed. The fallen tree on its side provided a lovely ‘cave like’ frame for the falls and foreground and I was a happy bunny for the rest of the day.

Only one other student in the group matched me for stupidity and joined me in the dangerous bum shuffle but it was all worth it as we later raised a pint to toast our collective gormlessness and slime covered jeans. It was a good day 🙂


  1. I’ve been to Panther Creek. Has never resembled anything like this.. you sir are making shit up.

      • I’ve shot Panther Creek Falls, and it did, indeed, look like this! But I can outdo you for “stupid.” When I first got there, I didn’t see the trail that led down to the base of the falls. Therefore, I took my 63 year old carcass and life in my hands and “rappelled” down the face of a thirty foot cliff, using Maple shoots as rope! When I reached the bottom, I was rather embarrassed to see a couple walk by on the trail I had just lowered myself to! Since the climb didn’t kill me, I gave it another shot and inched my way out onto the large log, shown in the foreground of your photo. It was very slippery and rotten, so much so that I embedded my tripod legs into the log! I survived (obviously), and the photo ended up being one of my most popular!

  2. Things have changed since this photo has been taken.

    I visited this waterfall recently and most of it is now closed off.

    You can get to the lower lookout, but they have put up signs telling you that the section is closed and that a death occurred.

    I thought the sign was just something to scare people from going further, but then I saw the small shrine at the top lookout and the note from people left for their friend that had died there.

    You can still get to the bottom, but the “trail” is a bit dodgy.

    Great photo.


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