PRO+
DJLee
1 Comment | Report
 
Smert August 31, 2017
amazing absolutely amazing, the tones and contrast in those rocks and the soft water, wish we had waterfalls like this over here

Lower Yosemite Falls



I was at the Falls shortly after sunrise and no one else was there--special. As the light began to illuminate the falls, I took this photo. The soaking I rece...
Read more
I was at the Falls shortly after sunrise and no one else was there--special. As the light began to illuminate the falls, I took this photo. The soaking I received from the spray felt wonderful.
Read less

Views

690

Likes

Awards

Contest Finalist in The Water In Black And White Photo Contest
Peer Award
+46
Superb Composition
+21
Top Choice
+7
Absolute Masterpiece
+2
Magnificent Capture
Outstanding Creativity
All Star
Superior Skill
Genius

Emotions

Impressed

Submitted to Photo Contests

Top ClassTM

Top 30 class
Top 10 class
Top 10 class
Top 10 class week 1
Top 30 class
Top 30 class week 2
Top 20 class week 1
Top 10 class
Top 10 class week 2
Top 20 class
Top 10 class week 1
Top 10 class week 2
Top 10 class week 1
Top 20 class
Top 20 class
Top 20 class
Top 20 class week 1
Top 10 class week 2
Top 10 class week 1
Top 10 class
Top 10 class week 1
Top 10 class
Top 10 class week 2
Top 20 class
Top 20 class week 1
Top 10 class week 1
Top 20 class
Top 10 class
Top 10 class
Top 10 class
Top 10 class week 1
Top 10 class week 2
Top 10 class week 1
Top 10 class week 2
Top 20 class
Top 10 class week 1
Top 10 class week 1
Top 10 class week 1
Top 10 class
Top 10 class
Top 10 class week 1
Top 10 class week 2
Top 10 class week 1

Categories


Behind The Lens

Location
This is a photo of lower Yosemite Falls, in Yosemite National Park. It was taken during the spring, when the falls are full from melting snow. Yosemite is gorgeous year round, but spring is the best time to see and photograph its many beautiful waterfalls.
Time
I was photographing in the forest when I saw that light would soon illuminate the waterfall, and so I walked up a trail to the base of the falls. Waterfalls photograph best with some light on the water-- preferably soft early morning or late afternoon light. And there was a wonderful play of light and shadow on the surrounding rocks.
Lighting
I loved the way the early morning light illuminated the mist at the top of the falls and the spray at the bottom. Light creates magic in nature. Without soft light on the falls, the magic of the pristine water cannot be captured. Light also creates drama and contrast--in this images, in the rocky cliff enveloping the falls.
Equipment
Nikon D810 with my 24-70 f/2.8 lens. I always use a tripod for landscapes, and this is particularly critical for a long exposure. I wanted to capture the contrast between the silky but powerful flow of water and the rugged and dramatic rocks, and I knew that I would need to do a long exposure. Other essential pieces of equipment included a rain cover for my camera and lens and lots, and lots, and lots of giant lens cloths. There is no way to get this shot without getting soaking wet, and it was critical to protect my camera and lens and to keep water spots from ruining the image.
Inspiration
Light always inspires me, and it was lovely this particular morning. Although lower Yosemite Falls is a tourist attraction, with a nice trail leading to the base, on this particular morning, the tourists were not yet awake and I had the trail and falls totally to myself. I wish I could explain how awesome that was--alone in the forest, with the roar and wet mist from the water, totally filled with wonder and awe. So it was light, wonder, and awe that inspired me.
Editing
I converted this image to black and white, and did quite a lot of dodging and burning to get the look I thought was right. I wanted to do black and white to capture the sculptural character of the rocks and the drama of the scene.
In my camera bag
My bag is often quite full and can get a bit heavy! I usually carry one camera body (Nikon d810 or d750) and three lenses--a wide angle, my walk around Nikon 24-70mm lens, and a longer zoom. I also usually tuck in either my macro lens or a 50mm, depending on where I am going and what I think I may end up photographing. The bag includes extra batteries and memory cards, lens and camera rain covers, lens cloths, remote shutter release, allen wrenches, cell phone, and snacks (nuts and chocolate). I also carry a pouch with Lee filters.
Feedback
Look for soft light on waterfalls when photographing them--without that, its hard to capture the magic. And be prepared if shooting close to a large waterfall to manage water issues. I had photographed from this location before and came away with water splotches on all of my images. I needed bigger, more absorbent lens cloths, I needed to set my camera for a 2 second shutter release delay, and to use that 2 seconds to wipe the lens and pray. I took multiple images (locked in settings) so that I could blend them if needed to eliminate water spots, but as it turned out the giant, very absorbent lens cloths worked.

See more amazing photos, Follow DJLee