ViewBug community member ChristineCHess does a great job capturing the falls at night with artificial illumination.  Learn the techniques and story behind this awarded photo.

Falls Illuminated by ChristineCHess

1. ChristineCHess, where did you take this photo?

This image was taken in the state park in Niagara Falls, New York.

2. What time of day?

This image is probably one of my favourite long exposure images that I've shot because it was done when I was first starting into photography. It was bitterly cold when I got to the location but I had to wait outside for the lights to come on the falls, which usually happens around dusk in the winter. I still remember the burn in my fingers from the cold at first but once I started shooting, I was so enthralled with how the images were looking on the back on my camera I had all but forgotten about the cold.

3. Anything worth sharing about lighting?

I always try and shoot night shots when there is still some available light in the sky as opposed to long after the sun has gone down and its black out. The skies still offer some detail and the image usually presents itself much better, unless of course if you're going for star/milky way images, then by all means, shoot in the dark!!

4. What equipment did you use?

I used my D7000 and 24-70 lens with my Manfrotto tripod

5. What inspired you to take this photo?

Even before I started into photography, I've always loved looking at long exposure images, especially with water. Living so close to Niagara Falls often presents opportunity to shoot long exposures on any given day. I'm glad I pushed myself out that cold winter day when I took this image!

Night Moves by ChristineCHess

6. Did you do any post-processing?

All I did post was bump up the contrast a little as well as setting the white/black point in ACR. I also removed some dust spots off the image.


7. What equipment do you normally have in your bag?

I always carry my 2 Nikon bodies with me, the D800e and the D4s. My favourite go to lens for landscapes is probably my 24-70 and depending on how close I am to the subject, the 14-24 f2.8 would be a close 2nd. The 70-200 or 80-400 are always great for shooting up close to capture sights often looked over. I carry my ND filters, 6 and 10 stop as well as my cordless remote for long exposures.

View From Here by ChristineCHess

8. Any advice for others trying to capture something similar?

If you're shooting Niagara Falls, try and look beyond the "grand scheme" of things. So often most will point and shoot the camera and capture a wide angle view usually of both waterfalls. If you stop for a minute and take a look, you'll see so many other images to be shot within that same area. Bring it down into separate areas if you have to but look further than just that one grand shot that so many have captured. You never know, you may just get yourself an award winning shot!