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Matt Acri's picture

Tiny waterfall

Found this nice little waterfall while hiking near Owen Sound, Ontario Canada. Would love to get some feedback as landscape photography is a great interest of mine and something I want to get better at.

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Gregory Scott's picture

The composition feels too simple to me. I like the details in the rocks and currents below the falls. This would be a good situation to use a tripod and bracket the shot, perhaps for HDR. I might shot the waterfall itself at a faster shutter speed, at a higher ISO, and a wider aperture. The "smooth waterfall" is not my preference. I often use a slow shutter speed and a small aperture, like f32 or 64, to get depth of field. Simply combining the two images in two layers, selecting the whites, and deleting them on the long exposure on top, or making the slow or fast exposure partially transparent so that you can blend the images.

In my opinion, long exposures of this type lose the sense of motion in the waterfall, and often have overexposed highlights.But it looks good in the stream. Here are some examples, both with additional posterization using Topaz Simplify.

On very long exposures, you can avoid burning out the highlights by using a neutral density filter. The central part of the waterfall and the white splashes at the bottom look overexposed to me.

John Pless's picture

your question really begs to ask how true do you want to stay to what you saw in the wild? I took the liberty to download your picture and play with it just a little in photoshop. I have posted it back for you to see what I am talking about. First I think that the picture doesn't read well. With the dark on the left side my eye goes to the waterfall and then right out of the picture. I just don't spend any time with it. I personally like the milky water and that is a choice that every photographer has to make for hos/her self. What I did was flipped the image so that my eye comes in with the stream from the left side goes to the subject then the dark which is now on the right pushes me back into the picture. next I added a little saturation to the green and finally I selected just the dark corner and did a brightness adjustment on it to lighten it up some. Don't know if you can get this to open up big enough to see but here is my suggestion.

Matt Acri's picture

Thanks John for the feedback. I see what you mean by how it doesn't read well. My main criticism of the photo was it's composition and while I do like it, I also wish I came prepared with better footwear then maybe I would have got in the water to look for that better composition. But I worked with what was presented to me.

As for your question. My preference is to keep things as true as I possibly can to what I saw when I was out in the field only adding some slight improvements as I see fit.