Truland Photography

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Just the Right Combination

I've made lots of photographs of Cohoes Falls. From the riverbed when there is no water coming over the falls. From the old overlook in the Winter when the new overlook is closed. From the new overlook with Fall foliage and lots of water.

The conditions were just right yesterday for a slightly different view of the falls. After several days of steady rain, there was an abundance of water coming over the falls. After a mostly overcast day, the sun came out intermittently in the late afternoon and a strong Northwest wind blew mist from the falls creating the occasional rainbow.

I knew before I arrived how I wanted to shoot the falls and had my 5D Mark II and EF 17-40mm f/4L with a 3 stop neutral density filter attached. The neutral density filter allowed me to keep the shutter speeds slower to blur the water a bit in the bright lighting. Using ISO 100 and f/11, the combination allowed a normal exposure shutter speed of 1/30 sec. I was also bracketing 1 and 1/2 stops over and under for HDR processing so the slowest shutter speed (for the over exposed image) ended up at 1/10 sec.

There is foliage obstructing the views at the new overlook and the higher you can get the camera and lens the better. I fully extended my old Bogen 3021 tripod with ball head so that the camera was about two feet above my head. I used live view and a remote release to compose and release the shutter.

The mist from the falls was reaching up to the overlook so I had to cover the front of the lens as I waited between clouds for sunlight. First, I'll post the results of a single normally exposed image followed by a very subtle HDR processing of 3 bracketed exposures.

Single file processed with Canon DPP software
HDR image processed with Photomatix Essentials

Here are two other angles, both HDR processed.

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