Sudhir Ramchandran Landscape , Nature Photography
Athirapally Falls – Series – Eternal Earth 3

– In the bio-diverse evergreen forest at the footsteps of the Sholayar range.

It’s July, the time of year when the monsoons are at their peak and the largest waterfall in Kerala in the Thrissur district of Kerala is in full spate. The subcontinent’s most spectacular waterfall is in full spate. The waters originate from the Western Ghats and flows down as the Chalakudy River. Athirappally Falls at 80feet is the largest waterfall in Kerala and nicknamed the “Niagara of India”.

I shot the falls from the top vantage point but decided to go and look for a more dramatic viewpoint form the bottom of the falls. We slithered down a dangerous looking slope that has not been used for some time, with a large format view camera and Hasselblads.

For the technical minded, a short aside – I used the Hasselblad Arc body that allowed the verticals to be straightened and kept the falls at the right perspective without any distortion at the rear that would render the front elements large and the rear small. Now we had everything in the right proportions as the eyes felt it.

Then I employed a micro-tilt to achieve overall sharpness so that I don’t have to stop down the lens to a narrow aperture and suffer diffraction. For the same reasons I also deployed a Sinar P camera with the coarse tilt at 12 degrees to keep both standards parallel to achieve the right perspective as in architecture photography and a rear a micro-tilt at 15degrees. Please don’t bother too much about this info. I have a logbook for everything I shoot over the decades and so I could inform with such data since students of photography had been asking for the same. I transfer all movements to the rear field and bring back the lens field to normal so that there is no distortion. With practice it is not difficult and fun to use. I do it the digital way today though I do miss the control and ensuing beauty of yester-year flexible camera image realization.

I have always been fascinated by water. I could have shot this image from another 5 feet to the front to avoid the reeds, but I felt they contributed to the scenic value of its true nature. For the movie aficionados, this was the perspective that a part of Bahubali was shot.

Below the waterfall the stream continues as Chalakkudi River and drains into the Arabian Sea. This river is a bio diversity hotspot. Out of 85 species living in it, 35 are endemic to the Western Ghats and 9 are endangered. The area is home to elephant, sambar, leopard, sloth bear, and porcupine among others. Hence night driving is discouraged, as encounters with the wild can be dangerous.

I waited until the dramatic sky water-colored its delicate magic of sunset pastels across the sky before I wrapped up for the day.
#environment #saveourplanet #waterfalls

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