Waterfalls at Mid-Day?

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Ideal Waterfall Light.

If you’d ask me to describe my ideal weather and lighting conditions for photographing waterfalls I would tell you that I hope for an overcast day and with any luck a slight drizzle. I would also tell you that it is definitely not during the middle of the day under harsh sunlight.

If I can’t have the even light of an overcast day, or at the very least the waterfall is in full shade, I wouldn’t even try to photograph flowing water.

And yet I was working under the harsh light of the mid-day sun when I made the above photograph of Jackson Falls in Jackson, NH.

Even Is Even.

Last weekend I was out with a workshop client and during a break we stopped to check out this beautiful road side waterfall. I was certainly not thinking it was going to be at all photographable since it was 2 in the afternoon. As we admired the flow I started to notice something about the light. It occurred to me that the waterfall was indeed illuminated by even light. It wasn’t the beautifully soft light of an overcast day, but it was even light nonetheless. So to satisfy my own curiosity I set up my Fujifilm X-T2 with XF16mm f/1.4 lens. Knowing I was going to need help getting a long enough exposure time to blur the water I attached my Formatt-Hitech Firecrest filter holder to the lens and inserted a 10-stop neutral density filter. As I was setting up my composition I set the aperture to f/16 and the ISO to 200. Much to my surprise with the 10-stop ND filter I found I was indeed able to get a long enough exposure, to the tune of 26 second! After I took my first shot I knew I was on to something.

Lesson learned.

I’d still prefer to photograph waterfalls when its overcast and rainy out, but at least now I don’t automatically put the camera away when it’s not.

 

Falling Water In Pinkham Notch.

 

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This past weekend I explored Thompson Falls for the first time. Had I known how beautiful this waterfall is I would have made a point of photographing here sooner. Located a short hike from the parking lot at the Wildcat ski area in Pinkham Notch, this is definitely one of the nicest waterfalls in the White Mountains.

More a series of falls rather than one single plunge, Thompson Falls seemed to go on and on. The higher I climbed the more there was to see. Give me a drizzly overcast day and I could easily spend 4-5 hours here photographing. Sadly, I had to cut this first visit short on account of darkness, but I have every intention of returning soon.

Horsetail, Thompson Falls, NH

These images are but a small sample of what this series of waterfalls has to offer. With the relative ease of the hike to get here I will certainly be adding this to the itinerary of upcoming waterfall workshops.

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For those interested in knowing, all of these images were captured using my Fujifilm X-T2 camera with the wonderful XF10-24mm lens. For all of the images I used Formatt-Hitech Firecrest filters, a circular polarizer as well as a 4-stop ND filter, all mounted in the Firecrest 100 filter holder.

 

 

Through a Photographer’s Eye: 9 Photographers Share Their Advice

Words of wisdom to the beginning photographer.

The Fujifilm Blog

Over the last two and a half months, you would have seen a series of interviews which formed Series One of Through a Photographer’s Eye. In each interview, we heard from a handful of Australian photographers and how they use Fujifilm X Series cameras to photograph the world around them.

Before Series Two of Through a Photographer’s Eye begins next week, let us take a look back at what advice was shared when each photographer was asked the question:

If you have some advice for someone starting out in photography what would it be?

Drew Hopper

Just get out there and shoot! It is not about becoming famous or having all the gear available on the market. It is about enjoying yourself and finding your own style. Shoot what you like shooting, and avoid copying the work of others with the belief that it will make you a ‘better’ photographer. It’s totally…

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WPC: Reflecting

Refelcting Sunrise

Sunrise Reflection. Hampton Beach, NH

Fujifilm X-T2, XF10-24, 10mm, f/11, ISO 200, 0.4 seconds.

Additionally I used a Haida 3-stop neutral density filter to slow the shutter speed a bit in combination with a Singh Ray 2-stop reverse graduated neutral density filter to help balance the sky with the darker foreground. To keep the filters in place I used a Formatt-Hitech Firecrest 100 filter holder.

Of course the camera was securely mounted on a tripod.

(Links are provided for your convenience, I have no affiliation with the companies mentioned)

Go HERE for more interpretations of Reflecting.

WPC: Surprise

A little over a week ago, on April 1st, we here in New Hampshire received one hell of an April Fools surprise. A spring snowstorm dumped over 18 inches of heavy wet snow on us.

Unable to resist an opportunity to capture a few landscape images with a blanket of fresh snow I grabbed my camera and ventured out.

For more Weekly Photo Challenge Surprises click HERE.

What lurks in the shadows.

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The more time I spend with my Fujifilm X-T2 the more impressed I’ve become with it and the X-Trans sensor inside. One of the things I’ve been most amazed by is the amount of detail I’m able to recover from shadows that seem to have gone to black.

With about 20 minutes before the sun would crest the horizon off the New Hampshire seacoast it was still pretty dark when I made the above photo. So it was no surprise to find the shadow side of the monument rendering as black in the image. Even the histogram in Lightroom indicated there was no detail to be recovered.

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Histogram indicating no detail in the shadows.

Or so it seemed.

While I’m happy with the photo the way it is I was curious as to just how far I could push the shadows and what if any detail might be revealed.

Below is an approximate 100% crop taken from the original photo. Just for the heck of it I pushed the shadow slider in Lightroom as far to the right as it would go.

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100% crop from the original image.

Much to my surprise there was a lot more hidden in those shadows than I thought possible. This is the same crop, only this time with the shadow slider pushed all the way to the right.

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The same 100% crop with the shadow slider pushed all the way to the right.

The real surprise, I wasn’t pulling all of this hidden detail out of a RAW file. All of this detail was hidden in the shadows in the straight out of camera jpeg. The second part of the surprise, there was virtually no noise introduced into the image after boosting the shadows.

Add this to the growing list of reasons why I continue to be happy  with my decision to switch from Canon to Fuji.