Glacier Falls Reworked
I have been going through some old file from this past summer and seeing if there is anything I might have overlooked when originally processing each batch. This is daunting, although really fun task. It seems that I managed to shoot roughly 10,000 images from May – September this past year and there are actually quite a few gems hidden in the bunch.
I finally finished putting my presentation for the Wilmington International Photography Awards together around 10pm and still was not ready to hit the hay, so I went mining through the old files. I found this image of Glacier Falls from Rocky Mountain National Park late last night. I made this shot about 15 minutes after sunset on the way back from a hike I did to Jem Lake. The light was very low and I exposed the shot for 45 seconds at f14. This properly exposed the water, but left much of the forest and underneath of the rocks in deep shadow. Knowing that if I increased the exposure to bring out the detail in the dark areas, I would blow out the water. So I took a second shot at 80 seconds and then tonemapped both images in Photomatix. This did a great job of bringing out all of the details in the dark areas and really bring the forest to life, but the water looked really funky. I loaded the tonemapped file into Photoshop and made all of the color, tone and saturation adjustments to really bring the image to life. The next step was to deal with the water, so I went back into Lightroom and worked on the original RAW file to get the water to where I wanted it to be and then brought it into Photoshop as well. Using this image as the base layer, I held down the shift key and drug the tonemapped image over the original file. This perfectly lined up each shot. I then choose a very soft brush and set the opacity to around 60% and began painting over the water to reveal the original detail in the RAW file. It was important to bring the image up to 100% at times and vary the size of the brush and opacity to get a seamless blend. Here is the final result.