Winter at the Basin

This waterfall called The Basin in Franconia Notch NH is a major tourist attraction. About 99% of the time it is photographed from a viewing platform way off to the left of the scene, which is a 90 degree different angle of view than I achieved by scrambling down to get in front of the falls. Even with microspikes, I nearly killed myself getting down to this this perspective, but I loved the curve of the snow covered rock achieved by getting into this precarious position.

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Any critique or comment is welcome. Have I included too much foreground at the base of the rock formation?

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.
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Real nice curves leading in to the falls. To my eye (doing a scroll crop), I like it better with less foreground. The comp just works better for me.

Real nice take on The Basin, Ed. The curve in the snow does make an excellent leading line into the scene and then it cuts back perfectly to the falls. I have never been there in the winter so this is a fascinating image to me. The snow on the trees up top is a wonderful element and those icicles are very striking. Wonderful detail in the snow BTW. No suggestions from me.

Wonderful curves and geometry. In my view, it would be well worth trying this one in monochrome since it is so much about shape and geometry. I wonder if, in some way, the colour gets in the way.

Ed, I do like the geometric shapes in this image and the contrasting warm tone of the the foreground river bed with the cooler snow. I also am enjoying the different textures and variety of interesting elements to take in. The only element for me that I am struggling with is the amount of dark stone in the ULC. My eye keeps wandering to it, probably just me?
I also appreciate @Harley_Goldman’s “scroll crop” term. I have used this super advanced technique myself but did not have a proper term for it! : )

Hi Ed,
You are one brave dud…You might want to consider cropping to Grecian Golden Spiral. In PS CC19 open up the crop dialog box and cycle thru golden spiral, I recognized the potential for the crop because of the curves in the image.

Hi Ed. I’m kind of the opposite of Harley. I like all the foreground curvature, but the shrubs in the upper right corner just grab my eye like it’s a window. That makes me kind of like what Fritz proposed in the way of a crop, though I don’t like losing so much off the right hand side of the image. Here’s another proposed crop and also a slight straightening, because that big icicle just wants to be vertical to me (too many years in engineering).

In that regard Dennis, you are a lucky man!!! :grin:

@Harley_Goldman, @Ed_Lowe, @Alan_Kreyger, @Kerry_Gordon thank you very much for your comments, I much appreciate the input. @Ed_Lowe the White Mountains of NH have a lot more to offer than fall foliage, come up and freeze in winter some time.

@Ed_Fritz and @Dennis_Plank thanks for the related thoughts on cropping. I thought including the snow covered trees in the URC helped tell a better story about winter, but with all the snow and icicles here, what the heck was I thinking? I do agree that the dark stone in the ULC is an issue. I wish there was a way to lose the stone and keep the trees, but that’s not possible, so your crop’s at least help eliminate the ULC problem.

The crop was what I was thinking as well. The trees above the falls seemed a bit distracting.

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Good crop suggestions. I favor Fritzimage’s just a tad more. Simplifying often improves an image, but not always.


If I were writing a guide on composition, this just might be the leading example for the “S-curve”! And to Fritz’s example… I was also thinking this would be an example of the “Golden Rule” as well (That’s the same as “Grecian Golden Spiral” right?) I’ll have to google it…

And before reading the other comments, my thought was a top crop as well. If you do that, I’m wondering if there’s any more detail that can be brought out in the rock wall in the back?

Lastly, great job isolating the composition.

Be careful out there!


Thank you for your comments Lon. You got me curious so I did look it up, “The Golden Spiral” is actually derived from a mathematical term called the Golden Ratio. I believe the “Golden Rule” states “Crop Unto Others as they Would Crop Unto You”, or something like that in the NPN context :grinning:

The rock wall in the background is like a black hole, the stone is very dark without much detail. I can maybe open up the detail more on the upper section where it is not so dark, or perhaps run with a crop like Fritz’s. I need to ponder this a while before finishing it off.

I normally would consider these things better in camera. But this was a precarious position to shoot from, what you can’t see is running water to my left and directly behind me, with only about 3 feet of snowy rock to stand on. I spent as little time as possible in this spot before retreating to safety.

This is exceptionally well composed, Ed. I looked at the crops but I definitely prefer the original. The lines are just exquisite. I’ve seen shots from this spot but the snow really takes it to another level, IMO. I could see cooling down the color balance in the snow a bit to contrast with the rich warm tones in the rock. Great work.