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Archive 2012 · St Mary's Falls - Glacier
  
 
Camperjim
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p.1 #1 · St Mary's Falls - Glacier


As a new contributor to the forum, I have posted several images and had planned to wait a few days before posting again. I plan on changing locations tomorrow and may not have internet access so I thought I would post one more that has been sitting in my files festering for a few days.

First this is a travel photo. I paid for the boat ride on St Mary's Lake and then took the ranger-led hike to the falls. I had all of about 10 minutes to decide on some compositions and capture the images. I can also say that this sort of travel photo is important to me. I may have bad conditions and can only do so much but I want to do as well as possible. I know I am unlikely to walk away with any fine art, but I want a best attempt under travel circumstances. I tried to include a reflection, interesting light on the tree and something more than just a quick snap. I also thought about eye movement of the viewer and at the time of capture and with processing tried to pull the viewer's attention down the waterfall to the reflection and then up to the tree returning in a circular fashion. I have no idea if that concept actually works.

Second, this is an hdr. Using high tone priority, I could just barely cover the dynamic range and knew the sky was going to be close to blown out and a simple layer mask was not going to work well. Also I had the bright idea that an hdr was going to make the water appear sillky because it would average out the appearance of several images. Actually that did not happen at all. I typically don't like the hdr appearance and certainly don't like the artifacts so I processed with Photomatix at a low strength and then back off the saturation and added lots of contrast. I may have overcompensated.

Again, please do not take it personal if you go to the trouble to comment and I make no response for a while. I may not have internet access.

Thanks, Jim





St Mary's Falls - Glacier National Park




Jul 29, 2012 at 01:03 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #2 · St Mary's Falls - Glacier


Totally Suh-Weeeet !!!

Travel ... guide ... ten minutes ... IT ROCKS !!!

I'm REALLY DIGGIN' the comp.
Processing ... round 2, 3, 4 or 24 might be what it needs to bring it out to its best ... but you'll get it where you want it in due time.

It's always tough (imo) to rework an HDR type, but if your inclined to post up some of the originals it would help us give some feedback at approaches to know where you're starting from.

Again ... Nice Job.



Jul 29, 2012 at 01:35 AM
Camperjim
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p.1 #3 · St Mary's Falls - Glacier


Rusty, thanks for the positive feedback. Never shy away from the blunt truth, but some days are tougher than others and your kind words are much appreciated.

I attached the out of camera jpeg. This was shot with htp which just saved the highlights from being blown out. Even so this would be a tough starting point. My 15-85 is a pretty decent lens, but the CA in the trees is pretty bad. Not unexpected at the widest 15mm focal length and with high contrast. I have no idea what I would post for an hdr starting point. So much depends on the Photomatix settings. I do not routinely exposure bracket but any time conditions are extreme I will bracket at + and - 2 stops. On days when I have bracketed shots, I batch process with a strength of 55. Usually they all end up in the delete file anyway.







Unprocessed jpeg




Jul 29, 2012 at 01:59 AM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #4 · St Mary's Falls - Glacier


PP tweaks for your consideration:












Jul 29, 2012 at 03:17 AM
ben egbert
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p.1 #5 · St Mary's Falls - Glacier


First off I love the image you have here from a content and composition stand point. The blown sky is almost a standard feature of waterfalls with a sky background. I wish that really bright patch above the reflection was not so bright, otherwise there is lots to like here, and the shutter speed is perfect.

I am out of my league here on PP and I like what Antipod has done. I think you and I are going to learn a lot here. I am just along for the ride.



Jul 29, 2012 at 04:00 PM
cgardner
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p.1 #6 · St Mary's Falls - Glacier


Nice visual balance created between the tonal and contrast of the waterfall and pool with the rest of the scene.

The water going around the rock formation in between them creates an eye pleasing S shaped path to follow and
my eye moves smoothly and equally well top>bottom and bottom>top along that interesting S path with nuggets of golden sunlit detail on the path encouraging repeated trips along it. Much more compelling that the usual "up and out the top" eye movement dynamic of a scenic with sky on top or a waterfall as the only focal point

The way the pool reflects the tops of the trees cut off at by the top of the frame is something I've not seen before in a scenic. It's a very clever "Easter Egg" surprise for the viewer to notice, dwell on and figure out. I wandered back up to try to find the trees in the reflection so there was a delay in realizing I was seeing in the pond what wasn't visible at the top. I'm filing that one away for future use

My only negative reaction was that it felt a bit cramped on the left and bottom. I'd suggest a wider mat to add balance:









Jul 29, 2012 at 09:12 PM
 

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AuntiPode
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p.1 #7 · St Mary's Falls - Glacier


BTW, to get a slightly better color rendition in the last of the curves adjustment layer, I selected the curves gray dropper and poked around at points in the foreground that might be a neutral gray until I found one that looked better.


Jul 29, 2012 at 11:15 PM
Camperjim
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p.1 #8 · St Mary's Falls - Glacier


AuntiPode, thanks for the detailed help. I have a really bad internet connection and am having trouble so I will wait until a better time to study your workflow.

Ben, you are always excessively modest. I know you are a long way ahead of me. I rarely even use curve adjustments.

cgardner, I probably would have cropped off the top of the trees to concentrate on the waterfall and to minimize the sky. In this case I did not have the option since I was shooting my 15-85mm lens at 15mm. I lugged the ultra wide lens on the hike but never used it.






Jul 30, 2012 at 07:05 PM
weissj
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p.1 #9 · St Mary's Falls - Glacier


Really wonderful shot. I couldn't tell at first that it was an hdr. It has a great, warm glow to it.

I don't have too much to add. Chuck captured my thoughts on the composition (and then some), and AuntiPode did the only thing I was going to suggest: lightening the bottom left corner. Being that I'm a more rudimentary post processer, I would have just dodged or done a photoshop GND filter. That was my only gripe; it's a really wonderful capture.

Out of curiosity, what aperture were you shooting at?



Jul 30, 2012 at 07:15 PM
Jo Dilbeck
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p.1 #10 · St Mary's Falls - Glacier


Camperjim wrote:
I rarely even use curve adjustments.



Jim - curves are a man's best friend! Seriously, once you start to see what a modest curves adjustment can do to enhance your pictures, you'll never go back. I really like your image, but Karen has definitely refined it nicely as well.

Jo



Aug 02, 2012 at 07:31 PM
othfilm
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p.1 #11 · St Mary's Falls - Glacier


Camperjim wrote:
Also I had the bright idea that an hdr was going to make the water appear sillky because it would average out the appearance of several images. Actually that did not happen at all. I typically don't like the hdr appearance and certainly don't like the artifacts so I processed with Photomatix at a low strength and then back off the saturation and added lots of contrast. I may have overcompensated.

Thankfully it didnt make the water silky, I actually like the texture of the water in the image. And yeah, the sky is rough in any waterfall shot like this, but one thing that might help in the future is shooting RAW. Shoot one shot for the foreground, one of the water, and one for the sky, and then blend from there.

Because the composition is great, and I think you'd have put less contrast in there if the sky was cleaner from the start.



Aug 05, 2012 at 05:21 PM





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