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Rapids, Canadian Rockies





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1 Comment | Report
sinisaalmasi April 06, 2015
Fantastic shot!
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Behind The Lens

This photo was taken in the Banff National Park, along the Trans-Canadian Highway which connects Banff with Jasper in Alberta, Canada, and passes a great number of glaciers. This particular scene was about a mile walk from a scenic parking area. I moved around to the front in order to get the rapids, trees, mountain and the deep blue sky.
This was around 3 p.m. and there were deep shadows and bright highlights as well as a pure blue sky. No one else was around and I was very glad there was no contrails from jets in the sky.
Because of the high dynamic range in this photo, I took four exposures. I then used Adobe Photoshop Camera Raw Merge to HDR Pro software to be able to see details in the shadows, sky and highlights. Since this was four exposures the rapids were of course blurred, so I took the best exposure of the water and composited it with the HDR photo to remove the blur and bring out the texture of the rapids.
I used a Nikon D50 on a tripod with a Tamron 18-250mm aspherical DiII lens at f/11 for all four shots, varying the shutter speed 1/160th, 1/320th, 1/400th, and 1/800th, all at ISO 200. I used a 62mm polarizing filter to bring out the richness of the blue sky.
After walking along this stream you could start to hear the rapids and as I approached them I knew the juxtaposition of all the elements were outstanding.
As I mentioned, I used Adobe Photoshop Camera Raw Merge to HDR Pro to create a .tiff image which I then brought into Photoshop CC 2015 (or is it 2016) to make the basic adjustments such as using the histogram to set my white and black points, adjusting the highlights and shadows, then took it into Topaz Labs Adjust to give it just a bit more punch.
In my camera bag
Filters! I don't have too many but wouldn't go anywhere without the polarizing filter, a UV filter and several neutral density filters. I use a Sekonic Studio Deluxe incident light meter, especially when there is no rush to shoot; it gives me perfect exposures. However, when I don't use it, I almost always am in manual mode with the Nikon's meter. Only when I am rushed do I set the camera on shutter priority or aperture priority depending on my needs.
You might think that with moving water you can't shoot multiple exposures but by compositing one of the best images of the water with the HDR image you can actually get a HDR of rapids; of course you may want the water to be blurred. Just depends on your idea for your final image. A tripod is essential I think. And a polarizing filter will bring out stronger colors.

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