Much to the surprise of many lifelong residents, this photograph was actually in made in Rockford, Illinois. The water you're seeing is part of Spring Creek, but it's an anorexic portion that's hidden from both public view and Google Maps.
Believe it or not, these rocks are less than two feet high, but I noticed them through the trees while driving down Spring Creek near Anderson Japanese Gardens. If you were to drive past this part of Spring Creek in the summer months, the leaves on the trees would prevent you from catching even a faint glimpse of this miniature, clandestine waterfall.
Once I figured out how to gain access to the waterfall, I realized it might be on someone's property and thought, "Am I trespassing?"
This section of the creek runs between two very large homes, so it falls into a legal gray area (at least for me). Because everything is heavily guarded by both trees and a fence, I felt as thought I might get in trouble, but knew if I made a beautiful photograph, I could give it to the owner as a way of making amends. Basically, it was a small risk I felt was worth taking, so, I did.
After stumbling down the steep hill to get to the rocks, I realized it wasn't as impressive of a waterfall as I hoped. In order to make everything seem larger than life, I had to shoot from a low angle with the camera aimed a little upward. This meant that my tripod had to be in the water, and me along with it. I wouldn't have minded getting wet, but it was 35 degrees outside and I was quickly beginning to shiver.
I hurriedly made some long exposures of the scene, then raced back up the jagged hill and across Spring Creek to get in my car and head home.
Once I got the photographs into post-production, I realized I'd done an amazing job of making this little waterfall seem grand in scale. I had to do a little dodging on the rocks and burning on the trees in the background to bring out as much detail as possible, but overall, it was a pretty easy edit, and I've no doubt people are going to love this print, regardless of what size or material they order.