This photo was taken on the New Jersey side of the Delaware Water Gap in the fall season. I was hiking along one of the small creeks that feeds into the Delaware, and I came across a plethora of small waterfalls begging to be photographed. I had a miniature tripod with me, so I set up close to the ground to get this shot. The size of the waterfall is only about 1 foot high, so a low perspective was necessary. I took exposures at 1, 2, and 4 seconds of the same composition and ended up liking the 2 second exposure best. I did this without a neutral density filter, which was only possible because it was an overcast day and this location was heavily covered by tree foliage.
I did the editing in five steps, and none of them were very drastic. The first step consisted of doing a few adjustments in the Adobe Camera RAW software — just taking care of the white balance, exposure levels, and a few other basic adjustments. Then I set my black and white points using a curves adjustment layer to remove any additional color cast. I found the black and white points using a threshold adjustment set to the extremes. Then I did a darkening curves adjustment layer by dragging the center of the RGB curve down and to the right. I masked out most of the layer and “painted” in some darkening, which mimics a burning effect. The next layer was a curves adjustment layer for lightening, which I did by dragging the middle of the RGB curve up and to the left. Again, I masked out most of the layer and “painted” in some extra highlights, giving the image a non-destructive dodging effect. The last step is sharpening, so I created a new layer on top of the stack and duplicated the merged image into it. Then I applied a bit of sharpening via the Unsharp Mask, and I “painted” out some of the sharpness with a layer mask. So most of my time spent on this image was doing the burning and dodging of the water to give it more contrast and greater depth.
Photo by Brian Auer
10/07/06 Delaware Water Gap, NJ
Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D
Konica Minolta AF DT 18-200
195mm equiv * f/16 * 2.0s * ISO100