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Archive 2013 · As Good as it Gets
Matt Anderson
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · As Good as it Gets

"Crystal Creek Cascades"

I say "As Good as it Gets" because this is about as good as a shot as I can make with planning, nature, timing, processing skills, etc... That's not to say a different environment, lighting, location, etc.. could make for a more compelling photo. It's a photo I connect with, love creeks with lush surroundings, and deep pools trout are congregating in. That means the hues of the water are going to vary in deep color and luminosity. The child in me wants to jump in and see how cold, how deep, and how dangerous is it....

BS starts here, skip to bottom to avoid long winded crap...

Ok, I scouted this bad boy as diligently as I possibly could. For years I had seen wonderful pictures coming out of the Grand Tetons / Wyoming area. Amazing landscapes with scenery, vistas, mountains and streams, geographic formations as incredible as any I had seen! Research dictated a late September visit would maximize my fall color potential. Moon phase helped predict my fishing buddies luck in slaying the "cutties" ( cut-throat trout) and minimize light pollution on starry night exposures. The new moons first quarter-phase is supposedly good for fishing, and seducing fair maidens at the local alehouse. Oh, didn't mention, my travel companions on many a journey are expert fisherman, who abide by sustainable and ethical fishing practices. They fish, I photograph, we share locations and details at the end of the day, or mid day, when the light nor fishing is "peak" for either goal. Oh, and we eat some sweet fish, and drink some amazing local brews. Thank you snake river brewing! Their "Italian" pizza, BEST I've ever had. Ever.

I found this spot, thanks to my amazing friends. The rental van didn't fare very well from the treacherous path; trying to get close enough to this spot. Funny, the rental company, when filling out the form for body damage and interior damage upon receiving said rental car and returning, NEVER looks UNDER the vehicle. I'd argue that tells the TRUE tale of rental usage . There is a ford I returned in San Fran, a jeep on both Kauai and Maui, and a Suzuki in St Martin I would never in good conscience rent again. I'd also argue the 1995 ford station wagon we rented on Middle Caicos last year, yes 1995 with tape player, well, he got the best of me, touché good sir, touché. Karma will ultimately tell the true evil I have done with those rentals. (Drive legally as far as you can, hike the rest is what I practice)

Through friends, research, flickr, google maps, and many other resources, I was able to find gems like this, and many others.

The image, upon initial inspection, was quite flat from what I remembered. Then, I remembered, I always shoot in neutral or natural, or faithful in setting. I turn the contrast, saturation, and sharpening WAY down in camera. It's how it is when you shoot medium format. When I use to shoot with my HXD hasselblad, it didn't have "picture settings", why would it ? So, I "lobotomize" the camera as best I can to get an accurate histogram. I've been professionally post processing pictures for major brands for over 20 years. It's my day job. For capture you want a "safe" exposure. But honestly, through the years, I've been handed some of the worst exposed, out of focus, WB what?, dirty banded, you name it terd for images from professional photographers, and it's my job to make it look like a hero shot that commanded a $50,000 photo shoot cover shot the customer can't wait to see, yesterday. "Can you make it look like this?" If the $ are there, no-one in the pre-media business with savvy and robust skills, ( a slim few ) can say no IMHO.

Landing point to skip BS intro:

A beautiful canyon creek deep in the heart of Wyoming. Remote with nobody within miles, this beautiful creek littered with fall colors on the shoreline, and cutthroat cut-throat "cutties" trout deep within. The waters fast flow cascading over the rocks creates deep channels of intoxicating hues, and vibrant lumonisity from the aerated currents.

Shot with a D800E
Nikon 14-24mm @14mm
RRS L-Bracket
RRS BH-1 Ballhead with a PCL-1
Induro Carbon Tripod (use to use Gitzo's, lots of Gitzo's, but just trying ordering parts, sold all FIVE gitzo's because of their parts department)
Lucroit Formatt Filter Holder System with a newly developed, completely neutral 165mm ND filter.

If you want to save 25% off Lucroit, Hitech, or Formatt, shoot me an email or just go to the Lucroit site and use the code "LUCROIT25MA". Their in Spain, it will take few days to reach the US, but it will, no worries. The least I can do for reading my BS post, is save you money for time spent reading this.

Oh, I think good photography means bad spelling. I hope at-least, so I apologize in advance for grammar and spelling errors.

*Edit, Processing Note. Back in December, Marc Adamus came to visit for a few days. We hit a Packer game, had some amazing meals, wine, and scotch, and some awesome conversations. Both of us, with nasty hangovers, spent a few hours sharing our processing techniques, creative directions, and the like. This is the first image I have processed, albeit on a 15" laptop, yep, laptop, but using some of his techniques with my own. A hybrid of my normal process.

720 px wide version

1500px wide version for you size queens
copy and paste this url without the quotes "http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8108/8588278988_57b7be843a_o.jpg"

Edited on Mar 27, 2013 at 01:06 AM · View previous versions

Mar 26, 2013 at 02:23 AM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · As Good as it Gets

Beautiful colour and detail Matt, it looks an amazing place.

Cheers Ray

Mar 26, 2013 at 02:51 AM
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · As Good as it Gets

Hey Matt,

Sounds like you had a good time with Marc, and this is certainly a very cool shot. Nice work with that more stylized feel.


Mar 26, 2013 at 05:24 AM
Tuan Le
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · As Good as it Gets

Pretty cool image Matt! I like your composition and how you processed it ... it does have a similar look to Marc's processing. Man you write a ton of BS but it's all fun reading. Keep it up!

Mar 26, 2013 at 06:31 AM
Steve Perry
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · As Good as it Gets

Really cool shot! Sounds like a good time getting it too.

Mar 26, 2013 at 01:44 PM

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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · As Good as it Gets

WOW, Amazing!!!

Mar 26, 2013 at 08:18 PM

Search in Used Dept. 


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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · As Good as it Gets

Very nice shot. Got any PP tips

Mar 26, 2013 at 08:55 PM
David Patterson
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · As Good as it Gets

Apparently I'm going against the flow here. A pretty scene, but in my humble opinion, the processing takes the image a long way from reality (not necessarily a bad thing at times), and unfortunately my best way to describe it would be that it resembles those HDR shots everyone loves to hate. Just my two cents

Mar 26, 2013 at 11:53 PM
Justin Grimm
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · As Good as it Gets

I have to agree with David. Not only that, but I can't find a focal point or strong compositional element. Maybe if you cropped out the top half and used the water flowing around the rocks as a intimate landscape it could have more impact.

Mar 27, 2013 at 12:25 AM
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · As Good as it Gets

Love the colours, love the processing, agree with justin above about the crop.

For me, yeah the processing may make it slightly "unreal" but ultimately if I would put it on my wall and it makes me say "wow" then it's a big thumbs up from me.


Mar 27, 2013 at 02:25 AM
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · As Good as it Gets

I love it. Saw it over on NPN a lot bigger and thought it was great. Glad to have a chance to comment on it over here. I also think that this smaller photo makes it easier to say that it has a hdr feel to it, but when I saw it in higher res I felt like it put me in the spot looking at the beauty. Beautiful job on the comp and processing.

Mar 28, 2013 at 12:50 AM
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · As Good as it Gets

Reduced version does not pay this image a justice, it looks much more impressive in a large size, very much like painting. Wish water was a little bit more dynamic.

Mar 28, 2013 at 01:02 AM

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