Weekend Workshop With Tim Ernst

April 27, 2015  •  1 Comment

I have rested up from a extensive weekend workshop with Tim Ernst.  Tim is well known as a pioneer in Arkansas landscape photography.  Our workshop was headquartered at Harmony Mountain Retreat, south of Jasper.  Our group of 6 participants all seemed to have a great time enjoying the best of what Arkansas has to offer in the spring time.   Our first day in the field was a cool, overcast day with occasional light rain...ideal for shooting waterfalls.  Also, the water levels were just about right for all the places we visited.  

Our first stop was to Falling Water Falls, located on Falling Water Creek.   This scene has become an Arkansas classic.  
Falling Water FallsFalling Water FallsFalling Water Falls on Falling Water Creek in April.

Our 2nd destination was to 6-Finger Falls, downstream of Falling Water Falls on Falling Water Creek.   

Fingers Of WaterFingers Of Water6 Finger Falls on Falling Water Creek.

We then crossed the creek with our legs knee deep in cold water.  A short walk on the other side of the creek is Fuzzybutt Falls, which I think is among one of the most picturesque small waterfalls in the state.  

Lush WaterfallLush WaterfallFuzzybutt Falls in the Richland Creek Wilderness.

I had been to all the above destinations before, but it was still nice to return to these great spots. Later that day, we visited a place I had not visited before, Big Creek.   This tributary of the Buffalo River might be now most well known for being close to the large hog farm that is produced much controversy in the last few years.  Thankfully, we were UPSTREAM from that hog farm, where the water is still pristine.  There are some spots where the stream is full of pools and boulders.  The picture below might be my favorite from this trip, as this spot as been photographed very little.  

Big Creek CascadesBig Creek Cascades

However, there was still great stuff to explore further upstream, including spring fed streams that pour out of caves.  There are only a few places in Arkansas where a stream comes out from a cave. Places like Lost Valley and Blanchard Springs come to mind. They have been visited heavily. However, the hike to Big Creek Cave didn't become open to the public until just a few years ago.  Here are a couple of the caves located near Big Creek.  

Just downstream of one of these caves is a beautiful stream with moss covered rocks.  So gorgeous!  

The next day was much warmer and sunnier.  Therefore, not good for photographing waterfalls.  So we focused on some nice viewpoints instead. We visited Hawksbill Crag, which has arguably become the most photographed natural feature in Arkansas.   Tim Ernst and his publications have a lot to do with that.  On sunny weekends in the spring and fall,  Hawksbill Crag can become rather crowded, a little too crowded for my tastes. Thankfully, we arrived there just before the crowds arrive and I was able to photograph the rock outcrop without any people on it.  The trees were so green!

We also visited another great rock outcrop called Sam's Throne to watch the sunset.  

Our final morning included a rare treat.   Tim Ernst received permission to access a unique spot called Tea Table Rocks at Home Valley Bluff.  It is important for me to say that you have to cross private land to get to this spot in the Ozark National Forest.  I had seen a couple of other photos of this place, and glad I was able to visit, as I may never be able to visit Tea Table Rocks again.   I love the view from here!

It was great to spend time with Tim, as I have enjoyed his work ever since I was a kid.   His hiking guides and picture books have had a large influence for my love of the Ozarks of Arkansas.  


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the m(non-registered)
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