South Falls

This is one from the archives, shot in 2009. This is South Falls in Silver Falls State Park near Silverton, Oregon. I always liked this image but struggled with the edit. I recently went back to the original file and started over, using some of the new masking tools in ACR and Lightroom Classic. I did a little touchup in PS for a minor crop and a little cleanup in the bottom left corner.

Specific Feedback Requested

All feedback welcome!

Technical Details

Nikon D3, Nikkor 24-70mm @ 24mm, ISO 400, f22, 13 secs.

Here is a unedited raw file:

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That’s a really cool shot, I find myself wondering what it would be like if it was cropped to lose some of the foreground and right of the image, so the falls shift off centre. Other thing is that the RAW image has a dreamy quality that I really like which I feel is lost in the edit. Just some thoughts from a beginner

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@ravi2, I like your suggestions! I tried a minor crop to move the waterfall a little off center without losing too many of the leaves. I also tried an Orton effect.

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Beautiful Big Leaf leaves; they form a yellow vignette for the waterfall that works well. Your crop adds to that effect by removing the stream leaving the right edge.

Sitting back and enjoying the scene, my biggest “oh that would have been cool” is to see more of the waterfall; it somehow seems to want to be in the picture, but feels blocked. While they can be overdone to the point of cliché, I’m a big foreground anchor fan. I wonder how the scene would have looked if you had crowded those foreground rocks from a low angle? The camera angle might have shown more waterfall?? (I think the rocks and leaves on them dominating the scene more would be a good thing too. Hard to say without being there and playing with it though. You may have lost the tree, which is nice. (And it would likely need a wider field of view, maybe 16-18 mm depending on how close you got to the rocks?)

Those are nits and future thoughts though; this is really enjoyable as is Patrick.

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@John_Williams, thanks for your comment and suggestions. I’d love to return to this scene and try out some of your ideas, but unfortunately that beautiful old big leaf maple tree is no longer standing. :disappointed_relieved:

What a beautiful scene, Patrick. I love the foreground rocks with the green algae and the fall colored leaves on them and how they draw the eye right to the waterfall. I think this is framed and composed beautifully. I echo what @John_Williams said about wanting to see more of the waterfall and tying in those foreground rocks to lead the eye. However, I’m really just enjoying this image as is with all that gorgeous color. Too bad about that tree no linger standing. What a shame.

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Love the edit! Agree about having left a bit more space on the top.