A return to the world of HDR and my flowing water roots.
Every spring I watch the weather anxiously. I look for those clear days after two or more stormy days to make a pilgrimage to a special place: Hidden Falls at Big Woods State Park near Nerstrand, MN. When I converted from film to digital in 2005, this was my first stop to reacquaint myself with my roots – moving water.
I was also an early adopter of HDR Photography. I taught it at local camera clubs before anyone knew what it was. I also (mostly) abandoned it as the up-swell in HDR popularity loomed. I now return to it occasionally as the mood and the scene strike me.
This is a three-exposure HDR. The camera was a Canon 5DMKII with a Canon 17-40 F4L lens. The camera is fitted with a Hoya Circular Polarizer. The shot was tripod mounted with a mirror-lock up activated by a remote release.
The trick to this shot was timing the wind. With long exposures wind is always an issue. At the base of a waterfall, the wind is pushed by the fall of the water along the canyon. Finding those lulls is key to a good image.
The original exposure was 1/3 second at F11 at ISO 100 with the zoom at 19 MM to reduce wide-angle distortion. The shot was bracketed 2 stops over and under. In Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, the image was zeroed to original RAW, a camera profile was applied, a lens profile was applied using the new Lens Correction Panel, white balance was set and the image was sent to Photomatix for HDR Processing. Once complete, the image was brought back into Lightroom for final adjustments.
Of the many exposures I have of Hidden Falls in all seasons of the year, this is my favorite. It captures the mood and the place well. Considering I have been there on days when the flow rivaled a garden hose, I felt good about the flow and the timing.
Watch the weather for opportunities.
Rikk Flohr © 2010