Photographer Shoots Some Ethereal Photos of Frozen Waterfalls


Japanese photographer Hayato Wakabayashi shot some ethereal photos of frozen waterfalls, caves, and frost in his work-in-progress series called Gravity. Wrapped in cold fighting layers of clothes and armed with heavy gear, the courageous Wakabayashi braved the freezing cold of Japan’s mountainous areas just so he could document the remarkable phenomenon we see in his work. Cascading waterfalls are frozen literally in time (and space) as they are motionless midstream, transforming the otherwise familiar sight of waterfalls into graceful, seemingly endless icicles.

frozen waterfall

Waterfalls are usually formed when a river is at its infancy. It is during this early period when the channel is often narrow and deep. As the young river moves over resistant bedrock, erosion occurs slowly, while downstream the erosion occurs more quickly.

frozen waterfall photo

As the watercourse increases its speed at the edge of the waterfall, it takes material from the riverbed with it. This makes the waterfall carve deeper into the bed and to recede upstream. Usually over time, the waterfall will retreat back to create a canyon, or gorge downstream as it recedes upstream, and it carves deeper into the ridge on top of it.

frozen waterfall photography

These marvels of water formations have so captivated Wakabayashi, prompting him to shoot the magical Gravity.

“I started to become interested in the slow and organic variations of nature,” he said. “I have always been fascinated with the imperceptible growth built from repeated elements in nature. . . Nothing can escape gravity. There is a natural order that exists outside our rationalised ideas. Gravity holds all that exists. I show nature’s order by photographing these effects of gravity that we are not usually aware of in our daily lives.”

frozen waterfall japan

Gravity is a collection like no other, where the usual force and power of mighty waterfalls is strangely still, and yet seems to be in graceful motion. See Wakabayashi’s work here.

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Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.