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September 15, 2008


Emergency Shooting session at Great Falls National Park

by josephrossbachphoto

Well I have been pretty much confined to the office for the past week and I was feeling like I needed to get out into the field before my head exploded. I hit the road on Sunday morning to meet fellow photographers Chris Kayler, Alex Mody and Pini Goldman for a quick session in Mather Gorge. The dew point was sitting near the temperature and the humidity was very high. These are of course the perfect condition for Fog and this is one of my favorite times to be out in the field making new photographs. Well as it turns out the fog was so thick that it didn’t burn off quite enough at first light to make any super dramatic images at sunrise. We stuck it out anyway and waited for the light to get a little better and were able to make some pretty nice images anyway. I put my new top secret Singh Ray filter to work this morning and was able to make some shots. Here they are and they were all made with a version of the Vari-Nd that is in testing right now.

Cascades on the Potomac River, Great Falls National Park, Virginia

Big Falls above the gorge, Great Falls National Park, Virginia. (HDR)

Water and light, Great Falls National Park, Virginia

Sun kissed cascades and rock, Great Falls National Park, Virginia

12 Comments Post a comment
  1. Sep 15 2008

    First off, love the images – these are just the sort of images I love to see and to make.

    As for the “top-secret” Vari-ND – I’m wondering if there’s yet another new model on the way. I got one with some new combo features about a month ago (and love it!), and have been promoting it to all the landscape photographers I know, since Dr. Singh didn’t ask me to keep it under wraps. Do you have something newer & cooler?

    – Jack

  2. josephrossbachphoto
    Sep 15 2008

    Jack, I think we may have the same one. Thanks for checking in man. Where are you located?

  3. Sep 15 2008

    I’m in scenic Beloit, Wisconsin. (Probably not as funny if you don’t know the area – Beloit might very well be the least scenic part of the state!) I have to drive a couple of hours to get near any sort of waterfall. I really love shooting in northern WI & Michigan’s UP or even Door County when I can, though – lots of great water there!

    – Jack

  4. Jim March
    Sep 16 2008

    I’m trying to decide if I like HDR images. To me they appear flat with little if any sparkling highlights or darker shadows to give life to a photo. Although I realize it is used for a photographic effect I’m still trying to appreciate it for it’s own merit as a style. What is the style supposed to be? What’s your opinion of it’s applicability?

  5. Sep 16 2008

    Hey Jim,

    I have been wrestling with this one for a while now myself. HDR definitely has its own look and style. What that exactly is all depends on the scene photographed and how the image is processed. I tend to like to shoot HDR for only certain subjects like abandoned houses, rustic structures and so on and tend to process these types of images with the grundge look. I have been trying out HDR for more traditional scenes like the one in this post. I like it to a certain point, but definitely prefer the traditional capture. I will keep developing my workflow until I can get it to the pint where it looks good. All things considered, I only shoot HDR images about 5-10% of the time.

    One thing I will say is that I believe it is imperative to work on the image in post processing software like Photoshop or Lightroom after tone mapping to really bring out the contrast and tones in the image.

    Hope this helps answer the question and thanks for stopping by Jim!

  6. Sep 17 2008

    Chiming in on HDR… For me, it’s like any other technique – I don’t care so much about the technique (except when I’m trying to do it), but rather about the finished image. I like the HDR image above quite a lot, and would like it if I didn’t know HDR had been used at all. I will say that HDR tends to “work” more for me when the image is large enough for my eye to wander / scan over, or has points of interest spread across the scene. In that case, HDR gives me more of the usual experience of viewing the physical landscape, where my eyes adjust to the varying lighting conditions as I look around. (Hope that makes sense – I’m relaxing at the computer with what might be a now-too-empty glass of mead… :^D )

    – Jack

  7. Sep 17 2008

    Really nice work Joseph.
    As far as HDR, which I do shoot now almost exclusively, I find that every HDR can have it’s own look and feel. The final output can range from an immediate impression that the image is an hdr to the viewer not knowing hdr was even used. And that’s the way it should be. The photographer should determine how the image is presented, as surreal or as natural as he/she feels appropriate.
    I also agree with Jack that whenever hdr is used, the display image has to be as large as possible to really appreciate what hdr does.
    Many folks are reluctant to place large images on the web for fear of someone ‘stealing’ their work. I find that approach misguided. I display at 1,000+ pixels. I’d rather be able to have people appreciate and enjoy the hdr technique, view it as it is intended to be viewed, rather than be concerned with misappropriation.
    Anyway, great work, I rally enjoyed looking around. And I’ll be back.
    Best regards,

  8. Mar 22 2011

    Hi I am, thinking of going there next month.
    These are beautiful.

    Was this morning or afternoon light?


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