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anotherscotsman

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Aug 2, 2014
2,369
16,735
UK
It often pays dividends to have some idea of what look you want to achieve before you press the button. Although this particular day suffered from a lack of water going down the stream, the rich green canopy from the trees, a bit of moss on the rocks and a warm day brought to mind some exotic jungle scene (well exotic for here at least).

With that in mind, and given the relatively low water flow, I decided to go for a longish exposure. Given the target look, I took exposure from the base of the waterfall, reasonably representative of the shaded part of the scene and then deliberately underexposed by around 1-stop to enrich colours. With aperture set at f13 to get good depth of field at 16mm focal length (full frame) and with a circular polariser fitted this gave a 6-sec exposure at iso100. Original:

original.jpg


Not bad but lacking a bit in terms of composition - nothing particularly eye-catching.

What I liked was the contrast between the tannin-stained water and the greens of the moss and canopy with the rocks in the foreground. Time to crop with a square crop giving something more focussed:

crop.jpg


Looks better to my eye at least. Still not enough to focus the eye though and to give that 'jungle clearance' sort of look I was after. Time to add a vignette to push the eye to the centre of the frame. A 5-stop graduated vignette yielded:

vignette.jpg


Better. When I looked at the scene I liked the way the bank on the right led down to the foreground rocks, accentuated by the sunlight coming through the tree canopy. Lets see if I can make a bit more of that with a brush-in exposure increase and perhaps further highlight the central water pool:

highlights.jpg


Because of the low flow and staining, the waterfall is a bit too insipid looking so add a bit of brush-in exposure and a little desaturation:

waterfall.jpg


Not too happy about the rocks in the immediate foreground - a little too much reflected light despite the polariser. Brush in a little negative exposure into the foreground:

fore.jpg


That's about it as far as I'm concerned. Literally took about 5-10 minutes in post to modify the photo - anything that takes more than that is either beyond me in terms of capability or stretches what I would like to think as realism (personal preference).

Nothing that I would call cheating - simply trying to use the digital processing to help to accentuate what was in the original image and to try to get the effect that the original scene deserved.

All processing done on the RAW file in Capture One and exported for this post as small JPGs.

If I can do it, so can you!

Comments always appreciated.
 
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Apple fanboy

macrumors Ivy Bridge
Feb 21, 2012
55,895
54,191
Behind the Lens, UK
It often pays dividends to have some idea of what look you want to achieve before you press the button. Although this particular day suffered from a lack of water going down the stream, the rich green canopy from the trees, a bit of moss on the rocks and a warm day brought to mind some exotic jungle scene (well exotic for here at least).

With that in mind, and given the relatively low water flow, I decided to go for a longish exposure. Given the target look, I took exposure from the base of the waterfall, reasonably representative of the shaded part of the scene and then deliberately underexposed by around 1-stop to enrich colours. With aperture set at f13 to get good depth of field at 16mm focal length (full frame) and with a circular polariser fitted this gave a 6-sec exposure at iso100. Original:

View attachment 768856

Not bad but lacking a bit in terms of composition - nothing particularly eye-catching.

What I liked was the contrast between the tannin-stained water and the greens of the moss and canopy with the rocks in the foreground. Time to crop with a square crop giving something more focussed:

View attachment 768878

Looks better to my eye at least. Still not enough to focus the eye though and to give that 'jungle clearance' sort of look I was after. Time to add a vignette to push the eye to the centre of the frame. A 5-stop graduated vignette yielded:

View attachment 768879

Better. When I looked at the scene I liked the way the bank on the right led down to the foreground rocks, accentuated by the sunlight coming through the tree canopy. Lets see if I can make a bit more of that with a brush-in exposure increase and perhaps further highlight the central water pool:

View attachment 768880

Because of the low flow and staining, the waterfall is a bit too insipid looking so add a bit of brush-in exposure and a little desaturation:

View attachment 768881

Not too happy about the rocks in the immediate foreground - a little too much reflected light despite the polariser. Brush in a little negative exposure into the foreground:

View attachment 768882

That's about it as far as I'm concerned. Literally took about 5-10 minutes in post to modify the photo - anything that takes more than that is either beyond me in terms of capability or stretches what I would like to think as realism (personal preference).

Nothing that I would call cheating - simply trying to use the digital processing to help to accentuate what was in the original image and to try to get the effect that the original scene deserved.

All processing done on the RAW file in Capture One and exported for this post as small JPGs.

If I can do it, so can you!

Comments always appreciated.
Thank you for taking the time to do this.

Of course like most good images, you started with a good image and made it better.

My problem is I start with an average snap then make it worse in post! Must get out a bit more.
 

anotherscotsman

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Aug 2, 2014
2,369
16,735
UK
Thank you for taking the time to do this.

Of course like most good images, you started with a good image and made it better.

My problem is I start with an average snap then make it worse in post! Must get out a bit more.[/QUO
For what it's worth, I like your posts AFB so don't put yourself down! Also take into account that you don't see the majority of the cr*p that I take that isn't posted...
 

Number-Six

macrumors 6502
Jul 25, 2013
416
1,206
Reading this makes me miss those afternoons spent looking for good shots to make and then the nights editing them and trying to make them better.

Thanks for sharing
 
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JagdTiger

macrumors 6502
Dec 20, 2017
479
696
#1
It often pays dividends to have some idea of what look you want to achieve before you press the button. Although this particular day suffered from a lack of water going down the stream, the rich green canopy from the trees, a bit of moss on the rocks and a warm day brought to mind some exotic jungle scene (well exotic for here at least).

With that in mind, and given the relatively low water flow, I decided to go for a longish exposure. Given the target look, I took exposure from the base of the waterfall, reasonably representative of the shaded part of the scene and then deliberately underexposed by around 1-stop to enrich colours. With aperture set at f13 to get good depth of field at 16mm focal length (full frame) and with a circular polariser fitted this gave a 6-sec exposure at iso100. Original:

original-jpg.768856


Not bad but lacking a bit in terms of composition - nothing particularly eye-catching.

Perhaps a few fish would add to the scenery, in any case it is a nice photo...national park?
 

anotherscotsman

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Aug 2, 2014
2,369
16,735
UK
#1
It often pays dividends to have some idea of what look you want to achieve before you press the button. Although this particular day suffered from a lack of water going down the stream, the rich green canopy from the trees, a bit of moss on the rocks and a warm day brought to mind some exotic jungle scene (well exotic for here at least).

With that in mind, and given the relatively low water flow, I decided to go for a longish exposure. Given the target look, I took exposure from the base of the waterfall, reasonably representative of the shaded part of the scene and then deliberately underexposed by around 1-stop to enrich colours. With aperture set at f13 to get good depth of field at 16mm focal length (full frame) and with a circular polariser fitted this gave a 6-sec exposure at iso100. Original:

original-jpg.768856


Not bad but lacking a bit in terms of composition - nothing particularly eye-catching.

Perhaps a few fish would add to the scenery, in any case it is a nice photo...national park?

I’d agree it’s nothing special, the teach-in is more about how relatively small changes can perhaps make the best of what you have and help to portray an atmosphere. Have a look at some of the other shots that are a bit better from a composition point of view. Not any National Park, it’s actually a regenerated industrial region known for early industrial revolution iron works (downstream) and disused lead mines (upstream). Now just a wooded walk beside the river.
 

Apple fanboy

macrumors Ivy Bridge
Feb 21, 2012
55,895
54,191
Behind the Lens, UK
I’d agree it’s nothing special, the teach-in is more about how relatively small changes can perhaps make the best of what you have and help to portray an atmosphere. Have a look at some of the other shots that are a bit better from a composition point of view. Not any National Park, it’s actually a regenerated industrial region known for early industrial revolution iron works (downstream) and disused lead mines (upstream). Now just a wooded walk beside the river.
I disagree. I think it's charming.
 

anotherscotsman

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Aug 2, 2014
2,369
16,735
UK
I disagree. I think it's charming.
Cheers AFB, I'm certainly happy with the feel of this series of pictures - they look very much the way I wanted. Having said that, they can certainly be improved upon. As far as compositions go, the variety you can get from just this location is a challenge - see the one I'm just about to post.
 

Apple fanboy

macrumors Ivy Bridge
Feb 21, 2012
55,895
54,191
Behind the Lens, UK
Cheers AFB, I'm certainly happy with the feel of this series of pictures - they look very much the way I wanted. Having said that, they can certainly be improved upon. As far as compositions go, the variety you can get from just this location is a challenge - see the one I'm just about to post.
Look forward to it.
 

Cheese&Apple

macrumors 68010
Jun 5, 2012
2,004
6,606
Toronto
This is a really good post @anotherscotsman. You've done a really nice job of detailing a logical train of thought to achieve the look you were going for.

With respect to the image itself, I'd be tempted to clone-out the section of fence directly above the waterfall as my eye is drawn to it (because it appears out of place ) instead of the waterfall itself.

Thanks for taking the time to put this up.

~ Peter
 

anotherscotsman

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Aug 2, 2014
2,369
16,735
UK
This is a really good post @anotherscotsman. You've done a really nice job of detailing a logical train of thought to achieve the look you were going for.

With respect to the image itself, I'd be tempted to clone-out the section of fence directly above the waterfall as my eye is drawn to it (because it appears out of place ) instead of the waterfall itself.

Thanks for taking the time to put this up.

~ Peter

Many thanks Peter - both bits of fence now cloned out of the shot. Glad you liked the description of the process - if only the execution was up to the level of the theory!

IMG_5980 1.jpg
 

BJMRamage

macrumors 68030
Oct 2, 2007
2,736
1,266
this is a great write up. Appreciate seeing the process. what started out as an OK photo looks more impressive after post.
I can totally see taking a photo like the original and thinking it was just a snapshot, nothing that would lend itself to what you've executed.

We are planning to go to a nearby waterfall on Saturday and this will give me inspiration for whatever images end up on my card and how to process them.
 
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anotherscotsman

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Aug 2, 2014
2,369
16,735
UK
this is a great write up. Appreciate seeing the process. what started out as an OK photo looks more impressive after post.
I can totally see taking a photo like the original and thinking it was just a snapshot, nothing that would lend itself to what you've executed.

We are planning to go to a nearby waterfall on Saturday and this will give me inspiration for whatever images end up on my card and how to process them.
Cheers, glad you fond it useful. Sometimes all it takes is a bit of spit and polish to make the best of it :) Remember to post!
 
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