Capturing the Beauty of Valley Falls, West Virginia

by | Aug 17, 2015 | Stories & Expeditions, Tips & Tricks | 0 comments

A photographer friend of mine here in West Virginia has really encouraged me get out and see more of the natural beauty close to home.

Just a short while ago, we went out to shoot at Valley Falls State Park together. It was only an hour’s drive away but I had never been there before. What a great place to take pictures! We had a blast.

4046_Valley Falls SP-West Virginia_Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 28 mm, 1-8 sec at f - 11, ISO 50

We arrived in the late afternoon and spent a few hours shooting the multiple waterfalls on the Tygart Valley River there until sunset.

4058_Valley Falls SP-West Virginia_Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 150 mm, 1-4 sec at f - 22, ISO 50

Because of the extreme contrast between areas of shadow and sunlight, the general concept behind the camera control of “Exposure Compensation” came in real handy. Exposure compensation is a camera setting that allows you to incrementally adjust the exposure to be brighter or darker than the default meter reading. The default metering reading is almost always wrong when you go to shoot high contrast situations, or, depending on what metering mode you’re using, pictures that have a bright area in the center of the frame:

4071_Valley Falls SP-West Virginia_Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 200 mm, 3.2 sec at f - 32, ISO 50

Even for a simple scene, like the one below, the camera meter will most likely create an exposure that would make the picture appear too bright. I’m always overriding the camera’s meter, and exposure compensation is one control that allows you to do that quickly and easily.

4116_Valley Falls SP-West Virginia_Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 105 mm, 2.0 sec at f - 11, ISO 50

Exposure Compensation can also assisted in shooting blended high dynamic range exposures, like this crown jewel of the evening:

Valley Falls SP, West Virginia_Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 35 mm, 3.2 sec at f - 16, ISO 50

Do you know how to utilize Exposure Compensation on your camera? I can’t explain it all here, but I can share with you a snippet from the latest lesson on the Basic Course.

Lesson 2.6: How to Utilize Exposure Compensation

Snippet from Lesson 2.6

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