Banakas | Photography

One day the family and I took a short hike up the Bald River Gorge. While I was eager to get out of the house for a few hours, this trip wasn’t planned to well. It was windy and colder than I had anticipated, plus the trail was a bit rockier than I thought, so that became a challenge for my three year old, and my wife wearing the child carrier backpack. I had intentions of enjoying the hike and stopping a few of the falls along the way, but it wasn’t until we reached the trail head that I realized I had forgotten my tripod.

Photographing waterfalls without a tripod can be difficult. Sure I could set the shutter speed to a quick speed, but normally waterfall photos don’t look good when the water is in the “frozen in time” look. One method to combat the fact that I didn’t have a tripod would have been to bracket the image using a fast shutter speed and then using Photomatix Pro 4.2 to merge the images together. That would have helped to create the smooth flowing water effect that you normally see in waterfall images. But, I chose a different route with this image.

I actually ended up taking the single shot in Lightroom 4, and made 5 virtual copies of the image. On each virtual copy, I adjusted the exposure to create a series of images with a bracketed effect. E/V -2, -1, 0, 1, 2. Then took those copies and exported them into Photomatix to create an HDR. After doing this, the image had a better range of darks and lights, but my waterfall was still “frozen”. So I finally took the image into Photoshop 6 and applied the Oil Paint filter. Applying this created a subtle flow to the waterfall, and I don’t think it took away from the rest of the image.

What are your thoughts?

This shot was taken using a NIKON D5000 at ISO 640, f/4, for 1/250sec

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