Yosemite Falls

Home Forums Photo Critique Yosemite Falls

This topic contains 12 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Lydia Bennett 1 week, 3 days ago.

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  • #37604

    Dan Cope
    Participant

    Here’s a shot I took of the Lower Yosemite Falls in Yosemite National Park. It was late in the year and most of the color was gone from the trees, but right near the falls there was still some foliage. I wish I could have figured out a better way to portray how big and impressive this location is. As you can see in the unedited version, there were a number of people climbing on the rocks and that definitely puts things in perspective as far as the size of the falls is concerned, but they were so random that I felt they distracted from the scene instead of enhancing it, so I edited them out. Yosemite is an amazing location and as usual when I come away from photographing in such a place, I’m always thinking of how I could have done better. But I guess that’s what keeps us motivated to keep on learning!

    ISO 100
    18mm
    f/13
    0.6 sec

    • This topic was modified 2 weeks, 4 days ago by  Dan Cope.
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    #37625

    John the Nikon
    Participant

    One thing I would try is leaving one of the groups of people in the picture to show size/grandeur of the falls, and help draw your attention to something. And maybe filling the frame more by getting a slightly closer and more below angle would help.

    Besides that, it looks like a beautiful waterfall! Definitely on my list of “must sees” πŸ™‚

    #37627

    Paul Johnson
    Participant

    Dan, I love the edited photo. I think your picture has the same feel as one of Ken Rockwell’s. (Example 2) ((Be Careful with his Gallery))

    Having visited Yosemite twice a year from childhood through my college years before moving to the East coast, I am very familiar with this location. The lower. The sense of scale is hard to place with no easily identifiable object of known relative size and because the Upper Falls and the complete shot from the other side of the valley are so iconic (Example 1). I feel that the photo would require a narrative with it explaining the significance of the total height encompassed by the Upper, Cascades, and Lower Falls for those who were not familiar with it. However, if placed in a series of photographs of the falls the scale becomes known. Still, a wonderful photo. @hayhand02 were you familiar with the complete falls?

    Now if we could only find a was to get the roar of the falls to come across in a photo.

    I need to get back to Yosemite, it has been twenty years since I have been back.

    Both Photos were taken by Ken Rockwell and are only used for reference.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by  Paul Johnson.
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    #37634

    Silas Wood
    Participant

    i didn’t even notice people until i read what you wrote LOL

    #37662

    John the Nikon
    Participant

    @paulnmerrie yes I’ve heard of, and know some about the falls. But living on the East coast, I haven’t had the experience of visiting Yosemite yet. My dad has been there and wants to go back as well. πŸ™‚
    No, pictures don’t do justice to the roar and power of a waterfall. I’ve attached a picture that I found on an online source of the upper and lower falls. It seems to portray the size fairly well.

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    #37691

    James Staddon
    Keymaster

    I’m so jealous, you had some water to shoot! πŸ™‚ The only time I’ve spent in Yosemite the waterfalls were all but dry from the drought.

    I didn’t notice the people at first either. Wow, they really put that falls into perspective! What about keeping just one of the most distinct/noticeable individuals/groups and trying to emphasize them somehow in editing, with colorizing/saturation/darkening/lighting or whatever? The “epic” pictures of waterfalls that I’ve seen with people always seem to have someone posing specifically for the picture, so I don’t know if it would be worth the work. That might be a fun thing to do sometime though, to intentionally incorporate a person into the photo, at just the right spot, like on that rock that’s jutting out right there in front of the white water.

    In general, it looks like a shot taken from a tripod that was just “set up”, though it is true that the colored leaves do look placed intentionally. Maybe something to draw me to the colored leaves. I’m drawn from the trees to the waterfall well, but there’s not much depth.

    Glad you cropped out the sky, and I feel there’s the right amount of contrast, in editing. After seeing Ken Rockwells photo, Maybe pull out the warm tones a bit more!

    #37696

    Dan Cope
    Participant

    Awesome!! Thanks for all the good comments and helpful insights! This was my second visit to Yosemite and fortunately there was good water flow both times I was there! I photographed the more iconic view from across the valley, trying to incorporate various rocks and vegetation along the river as foreground subjects, but being two days before Thanksgiving, there were a lot of bare trees that I felt detracted from the beauty of the scene. I was happy to find colorful foliage right next to the falls! Here’s a vertical composition that has a more purposeful appearance. The area is littered with such a jumble of rocks that the challenge was finding a foreground subject without the scene looking too cluttered. I like the idea of a person posing in a purposeful way to create perspective. Of course the challenge would be making the person noticeable enough to have the proper impact. Don’t you think our Lenspiration membership ought to include an all expense paid week-long workshop in Yosemite??!! Ha!πŸ˜… Just kidding! But it would sure be fun to spend a week there!

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    #37698

    Lydia Bennett
    Participant

    Wow, what an unbelievable location!

    I like the depth in your vertical photo, it’s definitely what I was feeling like your horizontal photo was needing more of. Unfortunately, I don’t think the sense of how massive the falls are really comes out. I think including people would be your best bet; the only other thought I had was if you were able to get closer and kind of look up to the falls (just with knowing that typically when you look up at something, it generally looks bigger). πŸ™‚ But of course I don’t know if that would work in this location or not.

    Even still, I am so impressed with the beauty of these photos!

    …All-expense-paid week in Yosemite?? I’d go for that! πŸ˜€ Lol.

    #37726

    Hannah Moore
    Participant

    I’m wondering if the trees can’t tell enough of how high the waterfall is if someone was really interested? Unless the trees in the far left corner are actually smaller than the ones close up, then it would be harder to tell how high the waterfall is!! Just a thought!!

    #37763

    James Staddon
    Keymaster

    Don’t you think our Lenspiration membership ought to include an all expense paid week-long workshop in Yosemite??!!

    What a great idea! It’s not Yosemite, but I’m headed to the Rockies May 16-21 if anyone wants to join me! (Shared expenses isn’t exactly all-expenses paid, but if you take a picture that sells well, I won’t ask for any royalties. πŸ™‚ )

    #37800

    James Staddon
    Keymaster

    It was fun revisiting this thread on the webinar last night. Here’s a link to the replay, if you’d like to watch it: https://www.lenspiration.com/video/webinar031219/

    #37888

    Dan Cope
    Participant

    Thanks Lydia and Hannah for the comments! Good thoughts! I think that although the trees on the left side do put the size of the falls in perspective, yet it’s not definite enough because as far as the uninformed viewer knows, they could actually be small trees. A person standing in a purposeful pose would be more of a definite size comparison. Perhaps I should see if any of the people that are in the original shot could be including in a pleasing way and edited properly to draw enough attention to be noticeable.

    #37894

    Lydia Bennett
    Participant

    I agree. “Uninformed viewer”…. aka, me! I didn’t nearly get the same sense of the enormity of the falls looking at the trees as I did looking at the people. Trees come in all sorts of shapes and sizes so they don’t necessarily tell the best story of how big or small something is. People are just a tad more uniform in size. πŸ™‚

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