Cedar Falls

Hopefully everyone had a great holiday! I have been using some free time to process some images from a previous trip. This is a pretty popular waterfall in Ohio within Hocking Hills State Park, lots of traffic so you have to work around the crowds sometimes. I wanted a shot with these two large rocks in the foreground forming a bit of a triangle with the waterfall in the back. To ensure everything was sharp I took a shot for the two rocks and one for the waterfall and blended them together. I had a really hard time balancing out the image and I would edit, walk away thinking it was pretty good, come back and realize it wasn’t very close. In the original image, the waterfall is actually darker than the two sides, so I had to do some vignetting to get it to balance out and actually shift some focus to the center. There were some clouds but the sun would poke through from time to time which you can see some hot spots especially on the left side of the image. Different conditions would probably make for a better image overall.

I am starting to mess with sharpening in PS, not something I ever really played with before. I just hit the button for web in the TK panel. I hope this isn’t overdone, but again, it is a learning experience for me. I’m also strongly considering buying some of the Topaz products as well as the Nik collection for some of the resources to help with sharpening/sizing for print as I’m interested in going that route.

Specific Feedback Requested

Open to anything and everything!

Technical Details

Is this a composite: Yes
Focus stack for the two rocks in the foreground.

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This one works nicely. I like the way the rocks guide my attention through and up to the waterfall and the comp balances well. No nits on the processing either. Good take on this falls.

Fantastic image David! What a unique waterfall compared most single stream fall images. The composition is also intriguing along with the subtle greens in the moss and browns of the rocks. TK sharpen/resize for web is a gem in my opinion, your image looks very well presented here.

I think that ideally they should do that. But they are so bright that they keep you from doing that. The back wall is so fascinating that I thought you would be better off without the rocks but I was wrong. They definitely add to the image. They just need a bit less attention. The SS is perfect in my opinion and the focus stack worked well.

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This was already a lovely image, but I think @Igor_Doncov’s small tweak with darkening the FG rocks helps direct the eye to the falls. The blend looks great as does your chosen SS for the water.

While I like your version, I think Igor’s is an improvement. As already mentioned, his more effectively directs our attention to the falls. My imagination is running wild a bit these days causing me to see a seal facing a whale instead of just two rocks, especially in Igor’s rework. In any event, excellent image.

No one else mentioned but I rotated this 1 degree clockwise and added some color…

@Igor_Doncov Thanks for the suggestion. On the eternal quest of finding what is too much and what is not enough. I lightened those up, clearly too much, so the eye wouldn’t just pass by them. I think your rework will help and I will be working on that later tonight hopefully.

@Jim_Gavin - I see an otter on the left!

@Dan_Kearl I will have to mess with the rotation, sometimes it is hard with images like this that don’t have a horizon but I will play with it this evening. Regarding the saturation, I was having a bit of an issue with it becoming too red in certain locations so I had to decrease it locally, I think adding some back in some locations wouldn’t be a bad idea.

@Harley_Goldman @Keith_Flood and @Ed_Lowe Thank you for the comments, I will post a rework when I finish it up.

**And now Photoshop won’t save anything…Try again tomorrow.

Thanks everyone!

As far as rotation goes, water falls vertical…

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I don’t have anything to add about the shot, but this was happening to me too! I was getting vague error messages saving and even using the content aware fill tool :frowning:

@Brent_Clark It has been a mess for weeks now. Ever since I updated my iMac about a month ago. I’ve been on the phone with Adobe for probably a combined 4-6 hours and they can’t fix it. Apparently there is a patch coming in January. May not open PS until then because it is a nightmare. Even the fixes they tried, like turning off the GPU didn’t solve the issue.

Photoshop had gone wack to me also since I upgraded to Big Sur… Good thing I use Capture mostly…

Oof that sucks. I am on Windows 10, so it’s apparently not just a MacOS issue. Thanks for the heads up.

David, I’m coming in late, but here goes anyways. I agree with Igor about burning down the bright parts of the foreground rocks. I think it’s the direction the rocks are pointing that helps direct the viewers eye through the comp. They take your eye to the center, and then you drift up to the falls. The brightness of the rocks just competes with the falls IMO.

Overall this is a very interesting waterfall image. Its unusual to see a split flow like this, which is a nice bonus. Great work on this image Dave. You have come a long way in a pretty short time, I look forward to seeing the further progression of your work over the course of 2021.