Mist in the Valley


Blackwater Falls SP, WV is a four hour drive so Mike and I try to time our two day trips to some rain events. One of the places we like to stop and check out is this location looking out over the Blackwater Canyon. This particular visit I thought the timing was perfect as I particularly liked the placement and the amount of fog spreading out along the canyon walls. I consider myself fortunate as the fog pretty much dissapated within a couple a minutes.

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All C&C welcome.

Pertinent technical details or techniques: Nikon D800, Nikon 80-200 @ 200mm, f 13 @ 1/100 sec, ISO 800, CPL, cable release & tripod.

Is this a composite? (focus stacks or exposure blends are not considered composites)

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A very nice composition with the three triangles. I love mist like this. I’m always tempted to go too far with the balance of detail and softness, and certainly don’t want to lose the soft light, but I wonder if you’ve explored a little more tonal detail, with something like Clarity or Nik CEP’s Tonal Contrast or Pro Contrast?

I decided to play around with this by making the layers less prominent and more subtle. I also tried using clarity and texture in reverse to see if I could add to the mood of the mist by reducing the sharpness still further. Very sloppy work but here’s some ideas visually of what might be tried.

Ed,I had to give it a try, reworking your image. I hope I didn’t loose the atmosphere you meant to bring over.

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I like @Ben_van_der_Sande’s version. There are some blow out areas in the mist that would need to be corrected in the raw conversion.

Great shot, Ed. Very moody. I like the shot as originally presented. Nice composition and color.

Great shot Ed, I just love all of the triangle shapes created by your composition (even the sky albeit an upside down triangle). These look like my favorite kind of conditions. As you know I shoot a lot of fog images, and with my own processing I continually struggle with the “dehaze dilemma”. In other words what is that optimal tradeoff between sharpness and softness. I think one approach that often works is to apply de-haze locally rather than globally. In this case only apply it to the darker tones in the ridgelines, and not to the fog itself. There are a number of ways to do this, but I like to apply TK Actions De-haze through a Darks 1 or 2 mask.