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Kayakers at Silver Falls



Some insane kayakers making the most of the heavy rains at Silver Falls, Mt. Rainier, Washington.

Some insane kayakers making the most of the heavy rains at Silver Falls, Mt. Rainier, Washington.
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Awards

Runner Up in Rule of Thirds Photo Contest vol5
Contest Finalist in Rule of Thirds Photo Contest vol5
Contest Finalist in The Lifestyle Project
Contest Finalist in Beautiful Waterfalls Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Splash Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Sports In Action Photo Contest
Mystery Prize
Contest Finalist in Healthy Lifestyles Photo Contest
Outstanding Composition
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Peer Award
Superb Composition
billjacobsphotography barryryan coxcraig AnoopNair rascalphoto carmhensissy philtarg +73
Absolute Masterpiece
capturarmi Alinaphotos JeffreyDeCristofaro ema_artsy soniakinghill littlejules anthonymannion +61
Top Choice
Trotts pietnel Sandyjeff DEBOLINA_MOITRA rodbolt gannusya Dodoka +37
Magnificent Capture
Vitaliy_SN Nikolishin Safetygal RLP073 tashapaige14 pieterg jamesrushforth +25
Outstanding Creativity
edstines Vlad_Igoshin Ellakugele MarleLew AmielTPhotography sjphotocomau thomasdunstonevans +9
All Star
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Genius
CarltonR BrianaK ritafayeadams
Virtuoso
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Love it
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15 Comments | Report
BryanTilghman Premium
 
BryanTilghman July 01, 2015
Absolutely frickin Awesome!
AntonioMarchetti PRO+
 
AntonioMarchetti July 02, 2015
A-M-A-Z-I-N-G !!!
Mike_MacKinven
 
Mike_MacKinven July 02, 2015
Awesome view! Ephoto scene
wanshishi
 
wanshishi July 05, 2015
This is amazing. I want to be on the other side of the shooter! Perfect moment!
mclaybaugh PRO
 
mclaybaugh July 06, 2015
a truly wonderful image. vibrant colors and sharp.
BrianaK
 
BrianaK August 07, 2015
Nice shot.
ovosphotography
 
ovosphotography August 22, 2015
like it!
Rodney_Gaviola
 
Rodney_Gaviola August 31, 2015
great capture!!
billgardam
 
billgardam April 06, 2017
What is really impressive is your composition.
AMills PRO+
AMills April 12, 2017
Thank you!
DavesAdventures
 
DavesAdventures June 13, 2017
Those people are crazy. Great shot of their craziness
Egoryan
 
Egoryan February 26, 2018
I directly feel this air of freedom, which happens only in the mountains
andrewlpaul PRO+
 
andrewlpaul September 24, 2018
Insane capture!!!
Kjenora PRO+
 
Kjenora December 03, 2018
Takes my breath away!
robsy1965 PRO
 
robsy1965 December 03, 2018
Such stunning tension in this photo! Oh my gosh! What a grabber!
Safetygal PRO+
 
Safetygal Jan 28
Oh my! My two biggest fears - water and heights - yikes!!! Such a brave soul there. Great capture!!!

Same photographer See all

Behind The Lens

Location
I took this photo at Silver Falls, near the base of Mt. Rainier in Washington State, USA.
Time
By this point, it was late afternoon. We had spent the day hiking in the pouring rain. Hiking in the rain (with the right gear, of course) is highly underrated. You see fewer people, more nature, and the whole experience is much more immersive. And, if you're like me and interested in photographing streams and waterfalls, they're much more dramatic!
Lighting
The light here was a broad, flat overcast, which gives a soft light across the scene and helped bring out the color in the foliage and kayakers.
Equipment
There's a good lesson here. I normally shoot with a full frame Nikon D800E and 24-70mm f/2.8 Those were both broken and nearly 3,000 miles away in New York being repaired. Thankfully, my dear Sarah, also a photographer, was not into photographing nature scenes and generously let me borrow her Nikon D5200 for the "nature" part of our trip. Combined with my 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6, OpTech Rainsleeve, and Gitzo 1542T tripod, I was able to make this series of photos. The moral of the story: You don't need top gear to make the photos you want. Be in the right time and place, and know how to use what you have.
Inspiration
As we hiked along the trail, we saw these guys portaging their kayaks toward the falls. They were still setting up as we got there, so we waited. And waited. These were clearly professionals, so they scouted out the terrain and followed sound safety procedures, which takes time. While they were setting up, a local trail guide came by and observed that he'd never seen so much water going over those falls in all the years he'd been working on Rainier. We figured it was worth waiting for the action, and that waiting paid off.
Editing
The focus of my post-processing here was to bring the image back to how it felt at the time of capture. The overall scene and composition were fine, but the saturation didn't capture the lush, wet forest and there were many distracting sticks, logs and other debris which I removed to simplify the scene visually. I applied an Orton Effect selectively to give the water more feeling of flow, and the foliage a mistier texture to better capture the environment at the time. Finally, I did the usual set of dodging, burning, contrast, and sharpness that most raw photos benefit from.
In my camera bag
Other than using a different lens and camera than normal (as mentioned earlier), I was carrying my usual set of hiking/nature photo gear: Gitzo 1542 Tripod with Induro BHD-0 head, Nikon wired remote, B+W circular polarizer (very important for foliage, especially when wet, if you want deep colors), Optech Rainsleeve, numerous lens cloths in small ziplock bags to keep them dry and clean, rocket blower and lenspen to remove dust from the lens face, spare cards, batteries, and various small tools to maintain the tripod and camera strap.
Feedback
From a technical point of view, you have to factor in the relatively low light of the rainy day and make sure your aperture and/or ISO are adjusted to give you a fast enough shutter speed to freeze the action. Even though a sense of motion could be achieved with a longer exposure, I decided that a blurry subject would not be the best result. While using the polarizer will help with making the scene more lush, you may need to remove it to let in more light to get a faster shutter speed for the action. A tripod or monopod helps you keep the camera up and ready for the long waits, and stable during the shots. I try to pre-compose, then set my focus point where the action is going to be. In this case, what's going to happen is predictable, so make the most of your waiting time to get things ready so you just have to fire the shutter when things start happening. I recommend continuous high (burst) shooting mode for this sort of thing, where you fire many shots in quick succession during the peak action. A word of caution here -- know how your camera's buffer behaves. If you can only fire 5 shots before the camera pauses to save the images, don't start your burst too soon or you may find you're standing behind a "waiting" camera during peak action. Yes, I did learn that the hard way. From a less technical perspective, the best advice I can give is to get out there and pay attention to what's going on around you. If we hadn't noticed these guys setting up, and we hadn't been willing to wait quite a while in the rain for them to actually go over the falls, we never would have gotten these shots. We weren't there for action sports; we were there for streams and waterfalls, but we saw an opportunity and knew what techniques we needed to captures it. The lesson -- be ready. You never know what will present itself, so be ready to make the most of it. That means both in skills (knowing how to shoot sports as well as landscapes proved useful here) and in gear (being ready to hike/stand in the pouring rain for hours was critical to being in the right place at the right time to get this shot).

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