This shot was taken as I was exiting a week-long canoe trip in Algonquin Park (Ontario) with a group of friends back in October. We were all a bit tired but I saw these little falls as we hiked along a portage. I asked everyone if it would be okay if they hung around while I set up my camera and took some shots. They gave me the nod. But I felt under pressure because, after all, they were all waiting around for me. So, I got everything set up and then got really flustered. First, I had to take multiple shots to account for the extreme dynamic range between the sky and the dark areas below but at the same time I was using ND filters to try and get the water just so. The math was hurting my brain so I just said to hell with it and shot as many frames and combinations as I could and reckoned I’d figure it out when I got back home. It took me almost an hour to get everything, all the while wondering when my canoeing buddies were going to come at me with the blunt end of a paddle. They didn’t and I eventually got everything packed up and we were on our way. But the best part of the story is that when I got back home and looked at the shots I realized that the sun was out only in the first five shots I took. That meant that there had been a window of about five minutes. All those other shots I took and the time I took to take them was mostly a waste of time. It made me realize that no matter how much preparation I make, there is always an element of plain old luck and timing. And also that maybe I don’t need to make things more complicated than they need to be.
The image is composed of four blended frames – one for the sky and one for the foreground and then I used two others, one just for the extreme highlights on the water, which in all but one shot, were blown out and one for the curl of the water as it comes down in the bottom left of the frame. It was actually a very easy blend. It’s nice in these kinds of shots to be able to mix and match from different frames and, as in this image, take the way the water is roiling from one and add it to where in the other frame it was a lot less interesting. EXIF: Fujifilm X-T1, 35mm, ISO 200, f/16 and 1/125 sec for the sky, ¼ sec for the bulk of the foreground and 1/15 sec and 1/8 sec for bits and pieces.
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