Ruth Sprain  

Falls at Willow Creek by Ruth Sprain

September 2021 - Falls at Willow Creek

September 2021 - Ruth Sprain


About the Image(s)

I took this photo last week on a hike up Willow Creek in Colorado with my Canon 7D Mark II at ISO 100, 1/15, f22, and focus length 18.

Since I didn’t have a tripod or neutral density lens, I tried out different settings and lay on my stomach against a rock to stabilize the shot. I wanted to capture the peak of Buffalo Mountain in the distance, so a vertical angle was needed. In PhotoShop, I lowered the highlights slightly, used the transform tool to adjust for my shooting angle, dodged and burned, saturated in places, and sharpened.

4 comments posted

Mary Ann Carrasco   Mary Ann Carrasco
Ruth, What a beautiful scene and all the work you did to capture it! I like the layers of it from the waterfall to the trees, rocks, mountain and sky. Very nice edits too. Beautiful photograph.   Posted: 09/04/2021 10:08:02

Michael Hrankowski   Michael Hrankowski
Hi Ruth! What a lovely mountain scene. I think you did really well on the focus with the hand-held shot. It is well exposed and I think you did an excellent job with the edit. The highlights in the waterfall were also managed very well. I wish there were just a little more room at the top of the image, as I feel the peak of the mountain looks a bit tight to the edge of the frame. Also, I wonder if using a radial filter on the lowest rock couldn't be used to bring out some more of the details that are hidden in the shadows. Overall, a nice result.   Posted: 09/05/2021 11:13:34

LuAnn Thatcher   LuAnn Thatcher
Hello Ruth,

You live in a lovely area of the country. I like your vantage point with the water and the mountain peak in the frame. The colors and tone look both realistic and natural; what a breath-taking view it must have been.

I am noticing a softening of the image. You did not note which lens you were using. At f/22, I would want the whole image sharp, but for some reason, it is not. I wish to suggest another opportunity to shoot this location, to try f/11 and 1/60 shutter speed with this 18mm lens. There must have been some vibration or camera shake that is being detected without having a tripod. What do you think?

If f/22 is the narrowest aperture, then maybe that or the shutter speed (1/15) was the culprit. I have heard people say that shooting at the end of the aperture range can be a problem for lenses. So they have recommended stopping down a stop or two for the best aperture; f/11 and 1/60s shutter would help.

I hope this is helpful.

LT   Posted: 09/07/2021 11:09:27

Kieu-Hanh Vu   Kieu-Hanh Vu
Ruth, The vertical shot is the right choice to capture the beauty of this scene. I love the multiple layers of this image that include the peak of the mountains, pine trees, rocks, and waterfalls. Those elements guide my eyes go from the nearby foreground to the top in the distance.
I agree with you that it's hard to get a lot of elements into one picture in this case. You could consider next time to capture different parts of the scene then stitched vertically into one image in post processing.
I'd prefer to see more space on the top of the mountain and to lighten the dark area on the left that is right above the waterfalls.   Posted: 09/07/2021 22:35:34


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