Larry Treadwell  

Crabtree Falls in Summer by Larry Treadwell

October 2020 - Crabtree Falls in Summer

October 2020 - Larry Treadwell


About the Image(s)

Crabtree Falls Summer

Crabtree Falls is located on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. It is a popular attraction and accessed by a short downhill stroll of just over a mile. Coming back UP is a bit different and the long staircases are lots of fun for your knees. This was taken on a cloudy day with light rain, a perfect day for waterfall photography. The falls sits in a deep hollow and when the falls is full (like this shot) the falling water produces a thick mist that forces drying the lens before and aftger every shot. I kept the lens covered with my hat most of the time. The falls is difficult to shoot because the falls itself is in the open and catches a fair amount of light even on a cloudy day. The run off (my foreground) is in deep, deep, very deep shade. I even used a 6 stop GND filter and as you can see from the original it is still dark at the base.

Camera settings with my Nikon D810, with 24-70mm lens @ 24mm were: ISO 100, f18, 1 sec exposure. I used a polarizer and the aforementioned GND 6 stop filter. Naturally a tripod and cable release were used. I spent nearly 6 hours at the falls shooting at the moments when I had the best light.

White balance was a real pain because the deep shadows of the foreground carried blue tones while the falls itself had more daylight and yellow/orange tones. Image processing was done in Lightroom CC with lots of adjustments. I used the graduated filter, the radial filter and the brush. This required 27 adjustments with those 3 tools. There were lots of separate highlight and shadow adjustments all done in selected local areas. Just about everything was adjusted from separate white balancing for the upper and lower portions, clarity, texture, various color adjustments including color matching and color range adjustments. There was NO saturation or vibrance added, in fact I took out some saturation on the greens.

This editing took my afternoon, and a final review with minor changes after dinner.
Hope you enjoy the image.

Hopefully there is a bit of foreshadowing in the title. :-)

4 comments posted

Isaac Vaisman M.D.   Isaac Vaisman M.D.
(Groups 4 & 58 & 72)
Larry, mission accomplished !!!!😊 The result speaks for itself.   Posted: 10/04/2020 16:12:44
Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
Thanks Isaac. This was a tough shot because of all the heavy shade in the foreground. I used a 6 stop GND filter and still had to do some dodging in the shadows. It is a cool place to sit and take it all in.   Posted: 10/09/2020 14:52:25

Thorro Jones   Thorro Jones
(Groups 24 & 97)
Larry what a beautiful photo. The hike back up was well worth the effort to capture this waterfall image. Also, all your post-processing work paid off. The final image is stunning. I think your placement of the waterfall in the photo is perfect and the blurring of the cascading water creates a very dynamic feeling to the image. The only thing I can see to improve the photo would be to remove the two left side logs (one leaning 45 degrees to the left and the other leaning against the rock hill) as they are distracting. However sometimes we must take what nature gives us.   Posted: 10/16/2020 12:28:09

Michael Weatherford   Michael Weatherford
Another great waterfall shot from the master! I like the way the waterfall is offset from center and the highlighting on the water. Your patience in getting this image is amazing.   Posted: 10/19/2020 18:37:59


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