Hi everyone and welcome to today’s post. I am continuing to pour through images from the Lake Superior Workshop and keep finding hidden gems in some of my second tier selects. And though I know some of you may be getting tired of waterfalls I had to post this new image I processed over the weekend (But here is warning. I have some neat shots of two waterfalls from Crater Lake but I promise to hold off on those for at least a few posts). In any event today’s image was not included in my first edits for processing. One reason for this was it was a single capture scouting shot. At the time I must not have liked something in the composition and did not make a complete bracketed set. But on a second pass the shot really jumped at out at me. Which brings up the idea of karmic capture. During scout shots I will often make many captures in a row, often in an unconscious way, looking for compositional interest. At the time I obviously saw something in this collection of rocks and water to interest me but maybe not enough to stop and fully explore the options. But karma and serendipity often work together especially in this image.
I talk a great deal in my posts about the concept of leading lines and I don’t think it will take much description for you to see these in the photograph. But there is also shape repetition, shape intersections, and strong diagonal movement coupled with a way for the viewer to enter the image and move around. There is also some interesting “rule of third” stuff going on here but this gets so beaten to death that I won’t go into it. The point I am trying to make here is that for me, while I am in this self-critique moment, this image works on so many levels. It has a beautiful line of movement and simple forms but also strong, complex compositional elements as well. I also shot it straight into the sun which makes for very dramatic light. But that dramatic light comes at a price, namely a contrast range that is difficult for the camera sensor to deal with.
Technical Details: Even though I was in a scout shot mode I was still on tripod with the camera. Most of the time I will shoot scout images off tripod but I had just finished a bracket off to my left and simply turned the camera right and aimed into the sun. I still had on my 4-Stop Sign-Ray Neutral Density filter (to increase exposure time for water motion). I made one exposure at f22 for 1/4 of a second. I stopped down to f22 to create the starburst effect with the sun. I was in Evaluative Metering Mode with a WB of 5500K. Before the shot I added +1 Exposure Compensation using the button on the Nikon. This gave me the needed exposure to capture shadow details. I made the shot and moved on. Why I did not shoot a bracket is anyone’s guess. But the histogram was nicely placed with only clipping within the sky and sun which was to be expected. To process the shot I made two RAW conversions; one for the 3/4 to mid-tone values and a second to recover details in the trees above the river. So basically a “light” and a “dark” file that I blended in Photoshop. After merging the two files I used a series of Multiply Blend and Lighten Blend modes along with curves to finish the image.
Thanks for stopping by today. I promise to have a “non” waterfall shot next time. In fact the next one will be other-wordly.