Vernal falls

Vernal falls

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Some cool california hiking images:

Vernal falls
california hiking
Image by Joe Dsilva
It’s a wonderful experience to hike up vernal falls in the middle of a summer day, the spray will soak you up and cool you down as you hike up the falls, something I love a lot while hiking waterfalls.

But it is also a challenging prospect for a photographer who want to grab a picture or two. The spray makes it a tedious task to keep the lenses dry. Not to mention midday sun is the last thing you want when shooting a waterfall. The long shutter speeds that are required to smooth out the water flow is hard to achieve on a bright day, made only worse by the sharp shadows in the surrounding landscape.

So here’s how this shot was made possible. First, the microfiber cloth to keep wiping the lenses (ok that was obvious). Next use a VAR-ND filter to reduce the light that passes on to through the lens. Now setup a tripod, and shoot multiple exposures. One under exposed shot for the water (so that it’s not overly bright and washed out). Another one exposed for the trees to the left which were in shadows (hence necessitating an overexposed shot). Finally a normal exposure for the rocks and misc stuff.

Now crank up the laptop cpu and manually blend the three layers in photoshop for various elements in the frame based on the exposure. And voila !

This is a good example of how selective manual belnding can produce a high quality, pleasing image which is much superior to HDR. Go figure !

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