Under Ben Alligan


By PF Staff in Favorite Photos on Jan 20, 2013
Click photo to enlarge

Why This Photo?

I have chosen this photo because it is probably the photo (to date) that I have spent the most time composing, then processing and reprocessing, until I was happy with the result. The other, more obvious reason is because it is my favourite landscape that I have taken (to date).

I took this photo because I wanted a good landscape of the mountain behind, and not just another mountain picture. Although it has ended up as being a photo of a waterfall, rather than a photo of a mountain, I think that that works fine, since the waterfall was stunning in itself, with the way that it seemed to be lighting up the dark rock background that it had. The area of particular interest, for me, was the way in which the water seems to light up when it falls onto the rocks.

Equipment and Settings

  • Pentax K-r mounted on a Hama 42 Star Tripod
  • Wireless remote
  • Pentax DA-L 18-55mm kit lens
  • Aperture: F16
  • Shutter Speed: 30s
  • ISO: 100
  • Format: RAW DNG

Post Processing

I used Adobe Elements 10 to process this picture.

First, in ACR, I recovered the clipped highlights, and lightened up the darkest parts of the rocks, but also increasing blacks slightly to increase contrast. I sharpened it slightly, but not much, because I didn't think that a pin- sharp image was essential in this case.

Next, I decided to convert it to a black and white image, since I wanted to emphasis to be on the light in the waterfall, rather than the viewer being distracted by the colours in the picture. I then did some more specific editing to highlight the most interesting parts of the photo- I lightened the parts of the waterfall where it hit the rocks, to make these areas of light stand out even more, I added contrast to the sky, I darkened the mountain so that it was more imposing, and I finally added a very small amount of gaussian blur to make the flow of the water even more "smooth".

The only thing I did then was crop it to remove unwanted elements, and to make it a more pleasing composition, where the water flows to the bottom left of the image.

Original (click to enlarge)

- njleach.1




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