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Falls Creek Falls Night Shoot • Another wonderful collaboration

Inspired by these shots by djsoren, djsoren, a few nights ago (7/19/08) Luke(PhotoInference), Patrick(ImmortalThrillSeeker), and I headed up to Falls Creek Falls to try some night shooting and light painting there. It was the night after full moon but the moon was too low in the sky to add any direct light onto the falls while we were there. After many experiments at the top tier Luke and I met Patrick who had been working at the middle tier and we all headed down to the main viewing area in front of the bottom tier of this wonderful waterfall, set up our cameras, and began light painting the falls.

 

Step out into the dark view large on black.

 

This shot is a combination of two 4min f4 ISO 400 exposures illuminated by flashlight work that primarily Luke and Patrick were doing. I had simply set up the camera and started an exposure to see if the exposure length/ f stop/ISO was in the ballpark. Having liked the first result, I started a second exposure and added some light to what Luke and Patrick were doing. From earlier night shoots with Luke I had learned that such informal cooperative light painting often yielded wonderful results. And although neither of the two individual shots had what I wanted, I later saw when reviewing them on the computer that the two together (combined using the Screen Layer mode in Photoshop) with some additional tweaking had the light I wanted.

 

In the originals of this image the foreground and plants around the edges were very bright (spill over from the flashlights), so in Photoshop I darkened/vignetted the edges using Filter>Distort>Lens Correction, and Gaussian blurred that area too to give it a more dreamy Holga like softness that Luke had used in one of his wonderful shots. I then used the Burn tool to darken a few remaining hot spots and added some sharpening and blurring using the Sharpen and Blur tools, finally I stroked in a frame around the edge of the image.

 

Falls Creek Falls had been the most difficult subject we had attempted so far; and I remember thinking on the hike out that although fun and informative I didn't feel that I had captured what I had hoped. But this combination of those two images, which are the product of all three of us working both individually and together, is the image I had hoped to come away with, but which I would never have achieved on my own! Thank you Luke and Patrick for your help and inspiration! N06012&13

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Taken on July 19, 2008