View Full Version : August Waterfall

Rudi van den Heever
08-14-2013, 02:09 PM
Just returned home from my first trip to Blyde River Canyon in Mpumalanga, South Africa. I found this epic waterfall close to a hiking trail and decided to investigate, but there was no proper shooting angle through the trees - I saw a small island at the waterfall's feet and realized that it might be my only chance, as the island will be a distant memory when the summer rains come down. I braved the cold water with my bare feet and had an awesome time looking for some compositions under an overcast sky...

Equipment: Canon 7D and 10-22mm lens (not really the ideal landscape combo!:tinysmile_shy_t: ) with a circular polarizer filter.

Settings: Single exposure at 1.3s at F11 and ISO 100

Diane Miller
08-14-2013, 04:56 PM
Rudi, this is awesome! I love waterfalls with low flow like this one, with so many little streams of water. The slow SS was perfect, colors are gorgeous, details superb... A fairy forest image!

What would you think about a subtle graduated Ansel Adams burn on the right side, to help hold the eye on the incredible falls?

Andrew McLachlan
08-14-2013, 05:05 PM
Hi Rudi, this is very nice and you did the right thing...get in the water for a better angle. I often take a pair of chest waders with me when I am photographing waterfalls if the falls are not too long of a hike to get to, especially in the colder seasons. From your description of the surrounding landscape I would say you found the best perspective from which to capture this beautiful image.

08-14-2013, 06:26 PM
Excellent work.
I like the foreground rock and log a lot and the SS is about perfect.
It feels a little tight above, not sure if you were cropping out bright sky or not, but a bit more might look good.

08-14-2013, 06:51 PM
Dan, I was going to say I would crop a bit off the bottom.

I like all the seperate falls.

Don Railton
08-14-2013, 07:00 PM
Absolutely Beautiful Rudi... Love the shutter speed and the detail you have. Crop looks good to me. DON

Jason Stander
08-15-2013, 01:15 AM
WOW Rudi... firstly excellent comp and angle... perfect ss and pp work... love the greens... SUPER image overall WD!:w3

Rudi van den Heever
08-15-2013, 03:19 AM
Thanks for the feedback guys!

Had some distracting grey skies top left, hence the shot at 15mm and not the 10mm that I could reach...:bg3:

Already did some burning and curves adjustments top right Diane - "Ansel Adams burn"? Feel stupid top ask, but can you elaborate on the technique? :tinysmile_shy_t:

Mark Dumbleton
08-15-2013, 08:23 AM
Excellent image Rudi! Also interested to hear about the Ansel Adams burn that Diane speaks of.

Morkel Erasmus
08-15-2013, 12:59 PM
Your best scape to date, Rudi. Hands down! :5 :cheers:
Love the water blur, the soft light, the leading lines and the way you composed a busy scene.

Keenly waiting for the Ansel Adams Burn explanation, Diane...:S3:

Diane Miller
08-15-2013, 01:23 PM
I was just making reference to the fact that Adams often burned (subtly darkened) images at the edges to help keep the eye in the frame. Sounds like Rudi already did this in the top right, as he mentions above.

In the digital darkrom the most flexible equivalent is to go to Quick Mask mode, drag a gradient or use a 100 percent soft-edged "black" brush to paint the desired area to adjust, then go back out of QM mode to get the selection for the area you painted. If it is the opposite of that you want, inverse the selection -- double-clicking the QM icon gives you a choice of whether the area you paint will be selected or protected. I prefer to change the default so I'm painting selected areas.

Then create a Curves or Levels adjustment layer and it will have the mask you painted. With Curves, pull down the top right point to darken all tones, and if the lights go too muddy, pull down the center instead or in addition. If color shifts occur (such as bringing out too much blue in shadows) go to the color channels in the same Curves or Levels adjustment and tweak as needed.

It's a very small point on this wonderful image, but the lines of the falls lead the eye up to the UR and the brightness there, and less so down into the water along the right edge, competes with the falls a little.

Morkel Erasmus
08-15-2013, 01:51 PM
Thanks Diane. You could've just said: "add a vignette" though :w3:bg3:

Seriously, thanks for the explanation. This is what we are looking for in the Landscape forum - for folks to engage and add some value by explaining how they do things. :5

Rudi van den Heever
08-15-2013, 01:52 PM
Thanks Mark and Morkel! Your input and compliments are much appreciated, seeing that I am but a rookie at this landscape thing! :tinysmile_shy_t:

Thanks for the explanation Diane... Will try and work the techs out... :w3

Markus Jais
08-16-2013, 01:17 PM
Wonderful shot. Great composition and fantastic colors. I like the motion blur in the water.


Anette Mossbacher
08-17-2013, 05:24 AM
Wonderful image Rudi. Very well done. I only can agree with all other comments :w3

Have a great weekend

Ciao Anette

Kaushik Balakumar
09-04-2013, 06:14 AM
A gorgeous scene and a beautiful image ! I think you nailed the shutter speed for the waterfall... just apt !