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08-27-2014, 06:56 PM   #1
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Light painting waterfall at twilight
Lens: DA15mm f4 Camera: K-5 Photo Location: Lesmurdie Falls, Kalamunda, Western Australia ISO: 400 Shutter Speed: Above 6s Aperture: F9.5 

I visited a waterfall on the outskirts of Perth, with the intention of hanging around after dark to do some long exposures with hopefully some stars in the background. A cloud bank rolled in late-afternoon, however; so I decided to try some light painting of the waterfall and watercourse with a LED torch, about half an hour after sunset. On the original photo, the cliffs around the waterfall were an inky black, so in PP I tried to brighten up the dark areas just enough to bring some details and colour out but not detract from the light-painted areas. I also brightened up the waterfall itself, as at that distance, the LED torch wasn't strong enough to illuminate it sufficiently during a 25 sec exposure. A few other little highlights brightened up, and I think I bumped up the saturation a little as well.

In regards to the colours and brightness, does it look balanced? My monitor is a bit of a cheapie, and although I've tried to calibrate it, I'm a bit concerned about how accurate it is; so if all of you think that the colours look cartoon-ish ( or HDR-ish ), or the cliffs are still an inky black with barely any detail, then I definitely have a problem.

And in regards to everything else, what might you have done differently? Composition, area highlights, cropping, tone, etc.; please let me know ( preferably politely! )

I can put the original, non-PP photo up if anyone is curious regarding what it started off as.

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08-27-2014, 09:53 PM   #2
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I think it's a good shot!

I like the rock line in the lower left but find that rock is too bright. It's easy to make the foreground too bright when light painting. An adjustment brush should help now.
The sky is nice but could benefit from a little noise reduction.

I was in Perth last winter, I wish I had known about this falls!
08-27-2014, 10:26 PM   #3
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That's incredible! Kudos! LED torches are perfect for that kind of landscape painting. The way the eye is drawn from the top to the bottom by the light is very effective. It doesn't look "balanced", but it definitely looks like it was done with intention. The rocks to either side are underexposed, but they're not the focus of the composition anyway.
08-29-2014, 05:02 AM   #4
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Hey thanks for the feedback. I messed around with it a little in Lightroom again, darkening the rock in the lower right a little, and brightening up the black spot in the lower right. I tried to do some noise reduction on the sky and also removed some blazing dots ( from errant sensor pixels? ), but as to whether it helped or not is pushing the training limit on my eyes! I'm still new to PP in Lightroom, and I'm also wary of over-using this new power.

Last edited by Focusrite; 04-09-2016 at 12:21 AM.
08-29-2014, 09:25 PM   #5
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I like the first image quite a bit, the second not as much.

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