Approve the Cookies
This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and our Privacy Policy.
OK
Index  •   • New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Guest
New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Register to forums    Log in

 
FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Nature & Landscapes 
Thread started 22 May 2017 (Monday) 18:43
Search threadPrev/next
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

Ricketts Glen Waterfall Photography C&C

 
JMarro
Member
Avatar
97 posts
Gallery: 34 photos
Likes: 512
Joined Jan 2016
     
May 22, 2017 18:43 |  #1

Hey Everyone,

I normally wouldn't make a new thread, but I have a more specific request than the general community "show us" threads. I just moved to northeastern Pennsylvania and there are a lot of waterfalls here. I am not particularly knowledgeable in waterfall photography and wanted to get peoples comments and criticism on these shots. I went up to Ricketts Glen this past weekend. For those of you that don't know Ricketts Glen State Park contains about 22 waterfalls along a 7.2 mile hike which covers two valleys that converge.

What are your thoughts on these shots? How can they be improved? Composition and exposure are my main concerns.

Thank you for all your feedback! :-)

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4156/34830864655_fd225216b0_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/V4Th​ze  (external link) Tuscarora Waterfall (external link) by JBMarro (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4272/34830899045_9234aff824_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/V4Ts​Na  (external link) Cayuga Waterfall (external link) by JBMarro (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4160/34698660731_832c39f086_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/UScG​Xe  (external link) Tuscarora Waterfall 2 (external link) by JBMarro (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4162/34020783753_c31c177f51_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/TQip​K8  (external link) Oneida Waterfall (external link) by JBMarro (external link), on Flickr

flickr (external link)
https://500px.com/jmar​ro (external link)
https://gurushots.com/​jmarro/photos (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)
-Duck-
my head is usually in the way
Avatar
1,650 posts
Gallery: 18 photos
Best ofs: 1
Likes: 659
Joined Apr 2016
Location: Shelton, CT USA
Post edited over 1 year ago by -Duck-. (2 edits in all)
     
May 22, 2017 20:19 |  #2

Wow! These are gorgeous images and worthy of hanging on a wall, printed BIG.

Your question is a little too open ended and you are probably setting yourself up to 101 opinions from 101 different people. Instead, let me give you one trick that I have done with images and critique yours under that consideration.

Let me preface this by stating this is a trick for processing images, not so much as for composition and exposure, as you requested. Although by way of analysis you will see how it can be of use in future images. It begins by reducing your image to values of light and dark. My prefered method is to simplify it to three values (dark, mid and light tones) but for this explanation I'll simply reduce it down to two. You'll still be able to see what I'm getting at. Here is your first image reduced (and with some annotations).


HOSTED PHOTO
please log in to view hosted photos in full size.


As you likely know, our eyes travel to the lightest areas first. In this case, the water itself. You can see the flow of the image in the blue arrow I indicated. The first thing I notice is that the eye travels beautifully in the prefered method most Europeans are comfortable with; top/bottom, left/right. However, there is nothing at the bottom right to bring the eye back into the image. My eyes follow the falls down and out of the image. The only thing that brings me back is that I was asked to really look at the image. A casual viewer would not give it a second glance (more than likely), even though it is an undeniably gorgeous photo. Remember that it is up to you, the photographer, to show the viewer what you want them to look at.

The other nice thing going for this scene and its composition are the leading lines that pull the eye into the 'start' of the image (indicated by the yellow arrows). On first viewing I was immediately drawn to the top section of the falls. Compositionally, I like that the start was placed (almost) on a power point in the rule of thirds. Maybe just a hair more head room above the falls would have served the scene better, but that's for the next time (or a recrop if the original has it).

The final part of this analysis I immediately noticed, and it correlates with the eyes being led out of the frame, and those are the areas I circled in red. We already mentioned the water at lower right pulling the eye down and out but the rocks and the hillside also do the same. They are brighter in value in comparison to the darker tones of the river rocks and ledges forming the path of the water. Basically you have a ribbon of light against a path of dark surrounded by midtones. What further hurts this image is that the areas circled in red are in the corners furthest from your starting point. All this does is encourage the eye to continue its travel out the image on the opposite side.

Aside from the nitpick of headroom above the falls, compositionally this image is great. It has a nice diagonal flow that travels naturally, a strong subject matter, no distracting elements, lots of detail without it being annoying or cluttered. Exposure is dead on though some may find it a bit too flat. I know you didn't ask about processing but, as I see it, that's the only real problem here and that can be fixed easily with some judicious dodging and burning.

Just my two bits. I hope this helps.

"If you didn't learn something new today, you wasted a day."
Unitas Photography (external link)Blog (external link)Facebook (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
BlazinBob
Senior Member
Avatar
564 posts
Gallery: 48 photos
Likes: 233
Joined Oct 2015
     
May 22, 2017 20:47 |  #3

Interesting waterfall shots. Thank you for sharing them.




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
JMarro
THREAD ­ STARTER
Member
Avatar
97 posts
Gallery: 34 photos
Likes: 512
Joined Jan 2016
     
May 22, 2017 20:52 |  #4

-Duck- wrote in post #18360793 (external link)
Wow! These are gorgeous images and worthy of hanging on a wall, printed BIG.

Your question is a little too open ended and you are probably setting yourself up to 101 opinions from 101 different people. Instead, let me give you one trick that I have done with images and critique yours under that consideration.

Let me preface this by stating this is a trick for processing images, not so much as for composition and exposure, as you requested. Although by way of analysis you will see how it can be of use in future images. It begins by reducing your image to values of light and dark. My prefered method is to simplify it to three values (dark, mid and light tones) but for this explanation I'll simply reduce it down to two. You'll still be able to see what I'm getting at. Here is your first image reduced (and with some annotations).

thumbnail
Hosted photo: posted by -Duck- in
./showthread.php?p=183​60793&i=i46426152
forum: Nature & Landscapes


As you likely know, our eyes travel to the lightest areas first. In this case, the water itself. You can see the flow of the image in the blue arrow I indicated. The first thing I notice is that the eye travels beautifully in the prefered method most Europeans are comfortable with; top/bottom, left/right. However, there is nothing at the bottom right to bring the eye back into the image. My eyes follow the falls down and out of the image. The only thing that brings me back is that I was asked to really look at the image. A casual viewer would not give it a second glance (more than likely), even though it is an undeniably gorgeous photo. Remember that it is up to you, the photographer, to show the viewer what you want them to look at.

The other nice thing going for this scene and its composition are the leading lines that pull the eye into the 'start' of the image (indicated by the yellow arrows). On first viewing I was immediately drawn to the top section of the falls. Compositionally, I like that the start was placed (almost) on a power point in the rule of thirds. Maybe just a hair more head room above the falls would have served the scene better, but that's for the next time (or a recrop if the original has it).

The final part of this analysis I immediately noticed, and it correlates with the eyes being led out of the frame, and those are the areas I circled in red. We already mentioned the water at lower right pulling the eye down and out but the rocks and the hillside also do the same. They are brighter in value in comparison to the darker tones of the river rocks and ledges forming the path of the water. Basically you have a ribbon of light against a path of dark surrounded by midtones. What further hurts this image is that the areas circled in red are in the corners furthest from your starting point. All this does is encourage the eye to continue its travel out the image on the opposite side.

Aside from the nitpick of headroom above the falls, compositionally this image is great. It has a nice diagonal flow that travels naturally, a strong subject matter, no distracting elements, lots of detail without it being annoying or cluttered. Exposure is dead on though some may find it a bit too flat. I know you didn't ask about processing but, as I see it, that's the only real problem here and that can be fixed easily with some judicious dodging and burning.

Just my two bits. I hope this helps.


Wow, that is an amazing analysis. Thank you for spending the time. I never thought to split the image into three tones and analyze it that way. I will definitely be using this from now on.

It was my original intention to have the eye led from top left to bottom right. I attempted to darken those rocks at the bottom left, but couldn't get it to become any less distracting. I did crop headroom out of the top of the falls as I thought it was too bright and distracting for the viewer. Thanks again for your suggestions!!


flickr (external link)
https://500px.com/jmar​ro (external link)
https://gurushots.com/​jmarro/photos (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
patrick ­ j
Goldmember
1,246 posts
Gallery: 29 photos
Likes: 1583
Joined Mar 2009
Location: Denver
     
May 22, 2017 22:16 |  #5

I think you nailed them all. Got up close and personal with the water in the foreground, looks like you had a cloudy day so nice saturated colors. And the stream acts as the leading line through the images. I was interested in Duck's comment with the blue line leading down through the image, I typically think that the eye starts at the bottom of the image and travels up through it to the top, following whatever lines there might be in the photo, if there are any. I don't know which idea of how we view a photo is correct, if either one is. Anyway, nice job.


Flickr (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
OhLook
Spiderwoman
Avatar
17,972 posts
Gallery: 72 photos
Best ofs: 2
Likes: 5253
Joined Dec 2012
Location: California: SF Bay Area
     
May 22, 2017 22:44 |  #6

patrick j wrote in post #18360866 (external link)
I typically think that the eye starts at the bottom of the image and travels up through it to the top, following whatever lines there might be in the photo, if there are any.

If we're reporting in . . . My eye starts at the top unless an image has a strong attention-getting feature elsewhere, such as a single area of bright color or high contrast.


PRONOUN ADVISORY: OhLook is a she. | A FEW CORRECT SPELLINGS: lens, aperture, amateur, hobbyist, per se, raccoon, whoa, more so (2 wds.), shoo-in | IMAGE EDITING OK

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
FarmerTed1971
fondling the 5D4
Avatar
5,999 posts
Gallery: 66 photos
Best ofs: 2
Likes: 3168
Joined Sep 2013
Location: Portland, OR
     
May 22, 2017 23:01 |  #7

All four are excellent. If anything I'd selectively darken certain areas to give them more pop. Exposure is quite even all the way across the frame.


Getting better at this - Fuji Xt-2 - Fuji X-Pro2 - Laowa 9mm - 18-55 - 23/35/50/90 f2 WR - 50-140 - flickr (external link) - www.scottaticephoto.co​m (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
JMarro
THREAD ­ STARTER
Member
Avatar
97 posts
Gallery: 34 photos
Likes: 512
Joined Jan 2016
Post edited over 1 year ago by JMarro.
     
May 23, 2017 16:23 |  #8

Thanks for all your comments.

FarmerTed1971 wrote in post #18360893 (external link)
All four are excellent. If anything I'd selectively darken certain areas to give them more pop. Exposure is quite even all the way across the frame.

Really? I thought I had over contrasted the images, but you are the second to say they are flat. Maybe I'll rethink my post processes.


flickr (external link)
https://500px.com/jmar​ro (external link)
https://gurushots.com/​jmarro/photos (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
-Duck-
my head is usually in the way
Avatar
1,650 posts
Gallery: 18 photos
Best ofs: 1
Likes: 659
Joined Apr 2016
Location: Shelton, CT USA
Post edited over 1 year ago by -Duck-. (2 edits in all)
     
May 23, 2017 19:35 |  #9

JMarro wrote in post #18361408 (external link)
...Really? I thought I had over contrasted the images, but you are the second to say they are flat. Maybe I'll rethink my post processes.

Local contrast and flat lighting are two separate issues. You have a lot of great contrast going on, specially among the vegetation. What I and Ted are referring too is the evenness of the ambient light across the scene. Most noticeably in the first three images. Because of the cloud cover and tree canopy the light is evenly distributed and rather directionless with no evident source to the light, it's just there. That is what is meant by 'flat' or 'even' lighting.


"If you didn't learn something new today, you wasted a day."
Unitas Photography (external link)Blog (external link)Facebook (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Bcaps
I was a little buzzed when I took this
Avatar
811 posts
Gallery: 68 photos
Best ofs: 16
Likes: 1743
Joined Jun 2003
Location: Bay Area, CA
     
May 28, 2017 13:41 |  #10

I like your comp in most of the shots but I think that with just a little bit of dodging and burning the images could be much improved. Forest waterfall shots are tricky because with all of the foliage there is just so much "stuff" for the eye to look at that it creates a competition for the viewers eye which ends up bouncing all over the image. You want to create a natural path for the eye to take through the image to your subject.

JMarro wrote in post #18360832 (external link)
It was my original intention to have the eye led from top left to bottom right. I attempted to darken those rocks at the bottom left, but couldn't get it to become any less distracting. I did crop headroom out of the top of the falls as I thought it was too bright and distracting for the viewer.

This is the opposite of what you should want for the image. You want the viewers eye to travel through the image towards your subject (the waterfalls), not down and away from it. You do this by shaping the light and creating transitions to give the image depth which will lead the eye towards the falls.

When we are in the field looking at a scene we have no problem appreciating the depth of the scene because of the way our brain puts together the two slightly different images that our left and right eye see. However, the camera can't do this and we lose a lot of that sense of depth when we take the image. So our processing needs to bring back that sense of depth.

For these types of shots I like to start my processing by making the image quite dark in RAW (overly dark). This simplifies the scene. By that I mean that it makes it less busy so the eye doesn't want to bounce all over the frame. Then I take the shot into photoshop and shape the light with dodging and burning so that it creates a path for the eye up towards the falls.

This is my stab at doing that with your first image. I mostly just burned/darkened the parts of the images that were not the subject and that automatically helps lead the eye towards the falls. Also, it helps to have the top of the falls brighter than the water on the bottom of the frame so that the eye go towards the falls.


HOSTED PHOTO
please log in to view hosted photos in full size.


I liked most of the compositions, particularly the 2nd and last one. The only one that I might make a suggestion on is the first one. Those rocks in the lower left don't add anything to the composition and add a visual weight that isn't balanced on the right of the frame, so it's somewhat unbalanced. I think that if you had moved to the right and used that inverted "V" of water as leading lines it might have helped somewhat. Something like this:

HOSTED PHOTO
please log in to view hosted photos in full size.


- Dave | flickr (external link)
Nikon D810
14-24mm f/2.8 | 16-35mm F/4 | 24-70mm f/2.8 | 70-200mm f/4 | Sigma 150-600mm

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

2,683 views & 14 likes for this thread
Ricketts Glen Waterfall Photography C&C
FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Nature & Landscapes 
AAA
x 1600
y 1600

Jump to forum...   •  Rules   •  Index   •  New posts   •  RTAT   •  'Best of'   •  Gallery   •  Gear   •  Reviews   •  Member list   •  Polls   •  Image rules   •  Search   •  Password reset

Not a member yet?
Register to forums
Registered members may log in to forums and access all the features: full search, image upload, follow forums, own gear list and ratings, likes, more forums, private messaging, thread follow, notifications, own gallery, all settings, view hosted photos, own reviews, see more and do more... and all is free. Don't be a stranger - register now and start posting!


COOKIES DISCLAIMER: This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and to our privacy policy.
Privacy policy and cookie usage info.


POWERED BY AMASS forum software 2.1forum software
version 2.1 /
code and design
by Pekka Saarinen ©
for photography-on-the.net

Latest registered member is stracker01
1002 guests, 298 members online
Simultaneous users record so far is 15144, that happened on Nov 22, 2018

Photography-on-the.net Digital Photography Forums is the website for photographers and all who love great photos, camera and post processing techniques, gear talk, discussion and sharing. Professionals, hobbyists, newbies and those who don't even own a camera -- all are welcome regardless of skill, favourite brand, gear, gender or age. Registering and usage is free.