Photographer's Note

This is another composition of the Natural Bridge, this one from inside the cave, looking towards the waterfall, falling into it. It too is an HDR, a method I prefer in a situation such as this to prevent blowing the highlights, while still maintaining some decent shadow detail. It is dark in here, the main light source is actually from the falling water itself. The stream of water to me almost seemed like a fibre optic network, bringing light down the stream with it. Using the HDR technique with my slowest speed here at 30 seconds, I had very little choice but to go for the “silky look” on the falling water.

This is shot 100 for me (102 if you count a couple I deleted). In any case, it is a time of reflection. I would like to thank Adam Silverman (adam) for setting this site up in the first place and giving it the great start that he did; I wish I had seen it a couple of years earlier. I would also like to thank all of the members, the many people that have posted such great inspiring shots and to those who have critiqued my work in the past, and told me when I was doing things right, and when I wasn’t how to improve on it. A little constructive criticism can go a long way.

For this shot, I would like to thank Richard Cridland (rcrick) for getting me to the site, and for the loan of his tripod. Meeting with Rick was a lesson in itself. We all, on this and the other “Trek” sites, share a common interest, in photography. Time spent sharing this interest and knowledge can be a very fulfilling experience for all concerned.

Finally I would like to thank my wife for her patience, understanding and assistance. She has been there for many of my shots, pointing out potential positions or angles I might have missed, or holding a camera bag, tripod or umbrella while I got the shot. She has watched where I walked, when I was too busy looking through the camera view finder. She has brought along the water and sandwiches, that I always forget, and she has offered the first critique on many of the shots seen in, and outside of my gallery. The poorer shots in my gallery are the ones where I chose not to listen.

Workflow for this one as follows:
This is an HDR image
7 Shots taken at 17mm, ISO 100, f/11, 30 - 1/2 sec
I also took an extra set of 5 for insurance (not used)
Exposure range was from +3 to -3.
With conversion from 32 to 16 bit the white point was set for the top beam of light at the top of the falls
Levels used to lighten but this created some posterizing, so I deleted the layer
Curves used to create some contrast – s-curve
Extra curves layer added to vegetation area selection to add some additional contrast there
Saturation layer used with +20 added to master
Duplicated layer and changed blend mode to screen to add light, but again I saw the posterizing problems so I scrapped it.
Needed more light for the rock detail so I copied and pasted my 30 second shot as a layer, I then applied a layer mask (100% black), then painted with a 20% opacity white brush to bring out the detail in the shadow areas, the texture you see in the rock is a result of this
Overlay layer with 5-15% opacity white brush used for some additional dodging
Resized, sharpened with USM for contrast, then smart sharpen to sharpen
Saturation increased incrementally +10 on master, (to match web colour – proof colours with shot)
Saved at 88% quality for 195K

Photo Information
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Points: 70
Additional Photos by John Plumb (JPlumb) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 710 W: 158 N: 1008] (3159)
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