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Archive 2013 · Panther Paradise
  
 
Mark Metternich
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Panther Paradise


Because the season is in full effect this might be my last post until the end of summer/beginning of fall. I took this while shooting with an excellent photographer, Chris Moore, about two weeks ago. Here, we spent a good hour or two just trying to figure out how to shoot this beast in a way that was not exactly the same as others before us, yet at least try to do the place its due justice. Not an easy task, as I am sure more than a few on this forum can attest. The falls reminds me a lot of Proxy in it sheer roaring enormity and complexity. With heavy/low fog in the scene and relentless pouring down rain we knew the location had good potential for atmosphere, but shooting conditions were exceedingly difficult. I think we both may have been frustrated for quite a while.

As always, most accurately viewed on a calibrated monitor using Safari, Firefox or Chrome.


Logistics for those inquisitive, logistical and detail oriented :

This is a 3 shot blend using the Canon 16-35L2@16 mm (at f/8). I did not want to use the 14-24@ 14 due to having to keep the massive Lee polarizing filter dry. Yet, I wanted to try to get that wide sweeping 14 (or better) feel/look. What I did was shoot one auto bracketed shot allowing the lens distortion to stretch the upper waterfall slightly, so that the wide angle would not typically render it too small. Then, under my umbrella, after wiping off my lens (with circular polarizer on) I took one shot for the water pointing the camera downward in a way that accentuated the sweep of the creek. All foundational work was done in ACR 7.3. Two back to back shots for the upper portion (auto bracketing by 1 stop) were used, using my Blending For Dynamic Range - Blend If technique. Then I did a lens perspective blend in PS (of the upper waterfall background file and of the foreground water file) using a combination of the lens correction tool and PS's "auto blend." This technique difficult to describe, but can work wonders for creative perspective changes (whether corrections or distortions) in an image. This image was shot with the 16-35L2 at 16 mm but my rough guess is that the finished image holds an area of roughly a 13 or 12 mm corrected lens if there was such a thing. One natural question one might ask is: with the in camera lens distortion slight stretching and the lens correction perspective shifting (in PS) and then the auto blending... can the print hold up to a decent quality enlargement? I think the file is pretty good and might make at least a good quality moderately sized enlargement of 40 inches or more.

As always, thank you very much for looking and your feedback. See you out there, and have a great spring/summer!






Edited on Jun 08, 2013 at 09:32 PM · View previous versions



Jun 08, 2013 at 08:12 PM
MajeedB
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Panther Paradise


Never seen this view before. I like it quite a lot.

Your technical information behind the shot is interesting.

I like the look of the water in the foreground.




Jun 08, 2013 at 08:50 PM
Rick Schump
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Panther Paradise


Mark, It definitely has that breathy glass look to it. Nice perspective and the comp. stands well on its own. I like the saturated feel to it and the choice of SS works well. It feels like your standing in the river, which I know you would never do. Rick


Jun 08, 2013 at 10:31 PM
JimFox
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Panther Paradise


Hey Mark,

Pretty cool looking shot. I like how the water is just cascading down every wall...

Jim



Jun 08, 2013 at 11:07 PM
Ben Horne
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Panther Paradise


This has an awesome mystical feel to it. I really like the particular greens and blues in this scene -- they are naturally vivid, but not over the top at all.

I've come to the conclusion that I need to head up to the PNW next spring and link up with you on a shooting trip. It would be difficult for me to shoot my 8x10 in these conditions because of all the water and wind, but I'm sure I could think up something to help minimize it. Stellar work as usual!



Jun 08, 2013 at 11:42 PM
Mark Metternich
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Panther Paradise


Ben Horne wroteI've come to the conclusion that I need to head up to the PNW next spring and link up with you on a shooting trip.

Ben, I'd love to shoot with you. If I have some time between workshops I will gladly do. This year my workshops are booked up from mid May to the end of Aug. Just let me know when you intend to come and maybe I can squeeze a day in with you between them...

As far as the 8x10. Yeah you could pull off some great stuff for sure!



Jun 08, 2013 at 11:47 PM
harshaj1
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Panther Paradise


Awesome shot Mark. Thanks for the detail explanation.
Harsha



Jun 08, 2013 at 11:51 PM
othfilm
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Panther Paradise


Mark Metternich wrote:
Not an easy task, as I am sure more than a few on this forum can attest. The falls reminds me a lot of Proxy in it sheer roaring enormity and complexity. With heavy/low fog in the scene and relentless pouring down rain we knew the location had good potential for atmosphere, but shooting conditions were exceedingly difficult.


Great shot.

Sounds like similar conditions as when I was there, though the water is a little lower for you (I was there after about 2-3" of rain over a 2-3 day period). Couldn't find a good angle myself, but you seem to have found one. Wouldn't have even considered stepping in the water or on that crossing log at the level I was there at though.



Jun 09, 2013 at 02:04 AM
Ned Fenimore
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Panther Paradise


Darn tree, but yes, this is excellent and well executed. Hands down the best I've seem from the bottom...


Jun 09, 2013 at 03:15 AM
Mark Metternich
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Panther Paradise


Ned Fenimore wrote:
Darn tree, but yes, this is excellent and well executed. Hands down the best I've seem from the bottom...


Thanks Ned! You da Gorge man, so I appreciate that! I actually like the X the trees are making. But yes no tree would be cool.



Jun 09, 2013 at 03:38 AM
 

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thw2
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Panther Paradise


Nicely done.


Jun 09, 2013 at 04:47 AM
Sneakyracer
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Panther Paradise


Very nice image! The bottom part is optional but looks good. The top part would also look good as a square crop.

Regarding the enlargement. What dslr did you use? I find that with say a Canon 5D3, even with a perfect file shot with Canons best glass at optimum apertures and perfect technique, the max enlargement is about 20x30 with small foliage in the scene. I mean larger prints look ok until you see one made from a tech camera and digital back file.



Jun 09, 2013 at 06:25 AM
Mark Metternich
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Panther Paradise


Sneakyracer wrote:
What dslr did you use? I find that with say a Canon 5D3, even with a perfect file shot with Canons best glass at optimum apertures and perfect technique, the max enlargement is about 20x30 with small foliage in the scene. I mean larger prints look ok until you see one made from a tech camera and digital back file.


I think we may end up humbly yet sharply disagreeing on this issue. I have been making 40, 50, 60, 70+ inch Flex on acrylic prints with various DSLR's for almost 10 years now. One of my main jobs is producing (post production) gallery prints for fine art photographers. This privilege (along with producing my own work) allows me to make 10's if not up to nearly 100 enlargements a year.

My opinion is this: if one masters every step in the long chain of workflow (camera to print) as best as can be done, then also masters capture sharpening (deconvolution), upsizing and resolution choices, various advanced sharpening techniques as well as custom grain simulation, then one can easily go quite larger than 20x30! A 24 or 30 inch print is the smallest I sell. 50 inches is quite common (my favorite size) and I have produced many over 70 inches. Will they look just as good as 8X10 when a photographer comes into a gallery and puts their nose to the print? Of course not, but plenty good enough for the purchasers of fine art landscape who view at more reasonable viewing distances. And now with the D800E shot with great glass, I generally don't see size restrictions anymore.

Below is an image of a 40x40 Punchbowl (which has sold up to 49 x 49 - because Fuji Flex only goes up to 50 inches on its shortest side) as well as a 60 inch slot canyon shot. I have sold the slot shot a few times at 49 x 73.5. It was focus bracketed using the 5D Mark2, 14L2 at f/5.6, which definitely helped.







Edited on Jun 09, 2013 at 05:48 PM · View previous versions



Jun 09, 2013 at 04:45 PM
Mark Metternich
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Panther Paradise


Sneakyracer wrote:
Very nice image! The bottom part is optional but looks good. The top part would also look good as a square crop.



Yeah, I agree. The long sweep of the water is not entirely necessary. It was what I was going for but I could see it cropped too. I appreciate the feedback here.



Jun 09, 2013 at 04:52 PM
nicknick23
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Panther Paradise


Mark-

WOW!!!! Dont see how this can be any better. The composition is great...I cant wait to head up there to do some hiking and take some pictures with you.



Jun 09, 2013 at 10:48 PM
Steve Perry
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Panther Paradise


I really like it - sure, an 8x10 crop with a little less water in the FG would work great too - but I really like it as is. Great color, shutter speed and depth.


Jun 10, 2013 at 12:51 AM
ScottHM
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Panther Paradise


Beautiful scene and a great description in how you went about capturing it. It does certainly look different from other versions I've seen of the area. I'm just starting to explore more areas of the PNW and any help like this is always welcome.


Jun 10, 2013 at 04:29 AM
Tuan Le
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Panther Paradise


Great capture Mark. The cascading waterfalls and glowing forest is the really sweet portion for me, but I also like it as is with that long, sweeping lead-in. Nice seeing all those prints of yours on the wall too.


Jun 10, 2013 at 05:04 AM
Phrasikleia
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Panther Paradise


I've been in a 'more is more' mode with my own photos lately, so I'm liking the extra water at the bottom here. The long striations in the river are about as long as the closest log, which helps to make the log less of a barrier and more of a spoke in a big compositional wheel (made up of the many lines that converge at the base of the falls).

The one nit that I have is the stretching along the top of the frame. I've also been doing a lot of the 'vertorama' kind of stitching that you describe, so maybe I'm overly sensitive to the stretching, but here it looks a bit attenuated to me. I've been using various warp/distort tactics to try to either minimize or enhance the distortions that certain stitching projections introduce and have had the most trouble with leafy areas--they don't seem to take that kind of stretching very well because they lose their natural symmetry and start to look flattened. I know I said something similar about another photo you posted (a different waterfall), so I'm sorry if I sound like a broken record!



Jun 10, 2013 at 11:59 AM
nburwell
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Panther Paradise


Another superb image, Mark!

-Nick



Jun 10, 2013 at 03:38 PM
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