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John de Groot's picture

Toorongo River (novice photographer, opinions and advice please)

Needed to get out of the city so googled waterfalls near melbourne and picked one at random. After a 2.5 hr drive i was pleased to find the Toorongo River Sanctuary was full of lush green ferns and mountain gums, the first pic is of the taken in the Toorongo river just below Amphitheater Falls, this is not edited at all and is straight out of camera, second pic is of Toorongo Falls. Pretty much just brought the highlights down in the very top where the sun was coming through the trees. i tried to capture the layered depth of the scenes and loved the natural vibrant tones in these.. love to hear your thoughts

Pic 1 (river) Nikon D600, 24mm, f10, 0.4sec ISO 160
Pic 2 (waterfall) Nikon D600 24mm, f13, 2sec, ISO 100

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8 Comments

Marcia Jolley's picture

You have captured the lush colors nicely. It looks like you may have brought the highlights down too much in the second photo...gives that gray, blocked look.

Danny Tan's picture

Terrific shot mate! Fellow Melbournian! I like the 2nd shot as I get the main hero of the shot is the multi tier waterfall!
1st shot is a little busy and could benefit shooting potentially in early hours as the highlights on the water for the 2nd shot in particular is blown.
Other option would be to take multi exposure to blend the highlands against the main scene.
Hope it helps mate 👍

John de Groot's picture

Thanks, yeah the highlights In the second shot were quite blown out as is was pretty dark down were I was shooting but with a lot of light coming through in the top of frame.. I haven’t experimented with stacking multiple photos yet, so this might be next on the list 👍

Ruth Carll's picture

Hi John,

Nice depth and color on these. Very rich. I really like the first one. I like a little editing and I think the first image has the bones of a great image of you played with the lighting a bit in processing.

Unlike Danny, I'm not a fan of the second. I'm sorry!! I just don't like the tree trunks in front of the falls. This is just personal opinion. I think they ruin the potential layering effect of the falls. In this location, I would have recommended trying for a more side on perspective to the falls. Chris Jiblonski (https://fstoppers.com/profile/167232) has some cool alternative angles of waterfalls that might interest you. And just an idea for situations like these.

Overall nice work!

John de Groot's picture

Thanks Ruth,
I actually did take some other shots from a side perspective a little higher up as I did some portrait from this location which added some more of the waterfall without the tree on the left, person I really liked the tree leading up to the viewing platform, but that’s the beauty of photography every one sees things a little differently.. thanks for your comments and glad you like the first image.

Sue G's picture

Photographers often have too much attitude on likes and dislikes. I prefer the second with its more unique perspective and would call the first more as scene recording. The crossed Limbs are a nice effect like a Womans crossed legs.
But both are nice.
Speaking as an Art Director .. Spend 3 seconds on a photo and go with your first impression.

Gil Aegerter's picture

One of the difficulties I have with photographing water is strong contrast. In your case, it looks like it was a sunny day, and in the second image, some of the highlights on the stream were lost. Any chance you could go back on a cloudy day? If so, maybe tighten in on the waterfalls, even if the result might be a squarish image (Instagram!). Looks like a lovely place to photograph, and armed with what you know now, you might get some stunning images there. I think the shutter speed in your images is a great match to the scene.

John de Groot's picture

Thanks, yeah it was quite sunny that day. Initially I liked the sun beaming through up top and how it really lit up the top section and put emphasis on the damp moody conditions below, but once I saw the image properly i realised this was at the expense of blowing out some areas, I think going back to Danny’s comment taking multiple shots at different exposures and blending might have been the best bet.. something to go back and practice/ try ..