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Archive 2016 · Autumn waterfalls
  
 
SargentRay
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Autumn waterfalls


Went up north yesterday with a friend at one of his favourite spots for waterfalls. For me it was just a great excuse to keep testing my new 12mm and some filters namely a 10 stop ND.

Here in Quebec, Canada this summer was just fantastic, hardly no rain all summer long and heat waves after heat waves. Fall has been just as nice and warm and we are lucky enough to have an indian summer. A season within a season where leaves turn to almost fluorescent colours during a very short period of time. When we start getting overnight ground frost if the temperature holds at least 25c for 3 days we say it's the indian summer. It was just the case this week end and after that leaves start to fall rapidly so best be outside shooting when the trees are "ripe" for photography.

Once a very old photographer told me: "Ray in the fall the light and colours are only perfect for one day, you have to be at the right place at the right time to make a good shot" For the first time in my life this made perfect sense.

1-) Autumn waterfalls

Sony A-6000 - 12mm (18mm equiv) - 25sec - f11 - 200 iso - tripod - self timer - Post process LrCC - Photoshop and Nik



Oct 11, 2016 at 06:06 AM
junglialoh
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Autumn waterfalls


Quite impressive image with good angle


Oct 11, 2016 at 06:09 PM
JimFox
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Autumn waterfalls


Hey Ray,

That is a cool looking waterfall. It looks like you pushed the proceeding quite a bit in this. Was that your desire to get a more artsy look to it? That's my guess, and for that it looks pretty nice.

Jim



Oct 11, 2016 at 07:57 PM
SargentRay
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Autumn waterfalls


junglialoh wrote:
Quite impressive image with good angle


Thank's Junglialoh, i had to climb down quite a steep rocky hill to get this angle. The wet slimy rocks were so traitorous with the tripod in one hand and trying to hold onto my small camer bag. But at least the A6000 is so small everything fits in a rather tiny bag. Landscape photography is new to me and i'm learning a lot at each outing :-)



Oct 12, 2016 at 03:11 AM
SargentRay
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Autumn waterfalls


JimFox wrote:
Hey Ray,

That is a cool looking waterfall. It looks like you pushed the proceeding quite a bit in this. Was that your desire to get a more artsy look to it? That's my guess, and for that it looks pretty nice.

Jim


Hello Jim, long time no see :-)

You're quite right my friend i did want a more artsy look or at the very least a more expressive one the original shot yielded under this flat light. The sun was getting up behind the waterfall, but it's light was dimly reflecting off the grey clouds behind me at a distance. Later on the day became just beautiful.

Here's the whole story of how the shot came to be:

Last week in a forum i moderate a friend with whom i worked with on a few projects shared many pictures taken from this area up north at about one hour drive from his place. Although his shots were all very well composed his post processing on the other hand was relatively poor to paraphrase him. So i offered to go shoot with him and spend some time afterward to share my views on post processing. Must say he doesn't believe in heavy PP and he only uses Camera Raw in post. Nothing wrong with that in theory, but i find this simpler workflow quickly reaches it's limit (just my point of view here) So i asked him to tell me next time he was going to go. He decided to go last Sunday pretty much at the last minute late Friday afternoon, so it left me very little time to shop for a decent affordable 10 stop ND filter (also needed a polarizer) I do have a Genus 10 stop Variable ND (paid 240$ for it too) but the stupid thing is completely useless over 3 1/2 stops as i start seeing the infamous black x in the middle of the frame. Add to that the fact that i see the filter in the corners at 24mm when using my 24-70mm. So i looked through the classifieds Saturday and found this guy not far from me who is a Nisi distributor and met with him over at his lace late at night. I got a few filters from him and went to bed at midnight. Got up at 4am and drove all the way up north a 1 1/2 hour drive mind you. From there we drove yet another hour further north to get to the spot. We ate breakfast quickly on the way up, and started to climb the 700 meter gravel road to reach the point of view. But i wasn't content with the angle we had at the observatory and decided to jump the fence and climb down the slippery rocks in order to have somewhat of an interesting foreground.

The light was so so and not nearly as expressive as i would've liked but decided to take the shot to the best of my ability thinking i could perhaps improve it in post. Not my usual way of doing things but hey, one shot was better than no shot at all was i thinking to myself at the time. Once i finished shooting i proceeded to climb back up which was incredibly hard going back up again. Once back at the top i started feeling really sick to my stomach and was having nothing less than a vertigo attack. You see i had a minor accident repelling off a building at training some 15 years ago and i have been prone to such vertigo attacks ever since, in some very specific situations. This was just one of these instances where the height, the visual effect of the waterfall and the lack of sleep combined to the physical effort made for the perfect recipe for a powerful bout of vertigo. I'll have to be more aware of this in the future. So i was done for the day and came back home, was a shame too because of all the beautiful colours all around us. Well everywhere but where we were. The trees and foliage were still very green probably because of all this water feeding the vegetation (who knows i'm so not a botanist). It is still the first thing i felt compelled to change.

When i came back i still felt too queazy to work on the computer, just walking in the house gave me nausea. I closed the shades in my room and fell asleep for most of the day and evening. I only got to the shot Monday night after work.

Although i was somewhat pleased with the image quality, it didn't have the magic i was hoping for, everything coming out with a blueish hue (from shooting under an overcast sky) but the whole composition also lacked any feeling of depth, everything appeared to be on the same plane, no distance effect despite the relatively close background.

So i dove deep into post processing with this goal of restoring some feeling of volume and depth in mind to the composition.
After many trial and error i finally understood this feeling of depth could only appear by creating more light and shadows in the foreground (but not just by adding contrast and/or saturation) I had to go further than that. I ended up running the image in Nik's software and made many versions of the shot as i am still learning the possibilities of this great little plug-in. The skylight filter along with other combinations of tonal contrast and some dodging and burning in made the shot quite a bit more expressive to my eye and more like i hoped the shot would come out in the first place. I also darkened a bit the top part (top right on the shot) of the rocky wall in order to make the lighter part just under it appear closer to the lens I.E. give more of a feeling of distance between these 2 parts of the cliff. At the very end i ended up adding a slight glamour glow which i found gave a final morning look touch which i like very much.

So this is the whole story and i realize the post processing is quite extensive, that is also has little to do with the actual reality of the scene, but i finally convinced myself that if i was to wait until i got perfect light every time i'd probably never make (or very seldom) a good landscape picture. Besides from what i have seen here and in many landscapes forums, many if not most landscape photographer tend to push the post processing just as much, even more at times.

But hey i'm still learning and i look at as many landscapes pictures as i can in order to improve.

Again Jim, thank's for dropping by :-)

Original shot vs Modified



Oct 12, 2016 at 05:00 AM
 

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bill s
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Autumn waterfalls


Thanks for sharing this very interesting story. The photo is pretty cool too!


Oct 12, 2016 at 06:49 AM
junglialoh
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Autumn waterfalls


Very nice job and great potential with artistic sense


Oct 12, 2016 at 11:07 AM
SargentRay
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Autumn waterfalls


Thank's Bill and junglialoh :-)


Oct 12, 2016 at 11:53 AM
SargentRay
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Autumn waterfalls


Finally figured out how to post GIF files here, it might give a better idea of the retouching process involved.




Oct 12, 2016 at 09:23 PM







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