Before heading to check the bridge, I quickly scramble down the side of the gorge and luckily find a decent vantage point straight away – tripod and ‘big’ camera out quickly, filters on (one grad, one ND, couldn’t find my polariser) and just as well as it goes from blue skies to belting rain in minutes. The scene is worth a bit more photographic processing attention than I generally afford, so I asked my brother Lee, an accomplished Australian landscape photographer and AIPP Master of Photography to have a look over a few of the files and to select and process one. This is the one he chose and his description of the processing he carried out:
“I chose this composition out of several others as it offered a good balance between motion and texture. Often when photographing waterfalls or long exposures the photographer opts for too long a shutter speed leaving motion washed out and the water lacking in texture. This shot offered a long enough exposure to show movement whilst retaining texture. I also preferred the composition where the water flow and rocks were not central to the waterfall but rather off to the left leading the eye into the frame.
In post I brightened the shadows and darkened the highlights increasing overall dynamic range of the image. I added a bit of saturation to the yellows to accentuate the green of the trees. Yes that’s right, to highlight the green you add saturation to the yellows. I added a bit of mid tone contrast using a Nik plugin to make the texture of the water and mid ground rocks pop.
I like clean perimeters so I’m careful what is going on around the edges of an image. A tree in original shot was distracting so I cloned it out. I also darkened the edges of the image to keep the viewers attention to the middle. All up I had 15 adjustment layers in Photoshop!”
Looks great! That extra bit of care and attention in processing has really made the most out of the original.
I have a quick scramble through the ferns above the falls (will later find multiple ticks from this, should have worn repellant), scoping other angles and scenes but the first was the best.
A closer look at the bridge itself
Given how slowly Lichen grows, been a good while since the bridge was painted
The round steel shapes nicely frame the view down the glen
The rest of the crew arrive and inspect the bridge but the rain is pretty strong so we all move off sharpish