Bob Benson, FPSA, EPSA  

Grist Mill in Fall by Bob Benson, FPSA, EPSA

October 2023 - Grist Mill in Fall

October 2023 - Bob Benson, FPSA, EPSA


October 2023 - Bob Benson, FPSA, EPSA

Original 2

About the Image(s)

With a slight detour on our way to the PSA Photo Festival, I stopped at the iconic Glade Creek Grist Mill in West Virginia, as this has always been on my bucket list, even though it is way over photographed. It was foggy and rainy, which meant no crowds and even light. I really wanted to get a slightly different view with my drone, but the time period for drone shots was 1-3 PM, and we were there in the morning. On the way home, we stopped again so I could register to use my drone in the allotted time. Now it was a sunny day and very harsh lighting - this is best as a morning shot - and the crowds were all over the rocks. With the drone, I got above some of the people problem, and parked it there, waiting for my chance without people in the image. Because I was there waiting for a while, I forgot to take a vertical shot (and move to my right for a better vertical perspective). The original is an undeveloped 0 EV image, and the second is the after combining 5 exposures in Aurora HDR. The fall colors were just starting, and I wanted to bring them out, so I used the color contrast slider in Aurora to push the colors. I finished it up in PS with some dodging and burning, and selective curves. There was also a person on the far left in the horizontal view that I cloned out. I liked the higher view that I got, but after looking at it for a while, I tried a vertical crop of it, and slightly blurred the waterfall, since the exposure was so short. Which version do you prefer?
DJI Mini Pro 3, ISO 100, 6.7 mm, 1/1000 sec at f1.7

This round’s discussion is now closed!
6 comments posted

Kirsti Näntö-Salonen   Kirsti Näntö-Salonen
Hi Bob! I think that both versions are very good but I would go for the cropped one, where everything seems to be in perfect balance. The way you treated the water adds to the feeling of a timeless scene, and the colors are lovely.   Posted: 10/07/2023 14:26:51

Terry Palmer   Terry Palmer
Bob, This is a very nice image and I think the processing you mentioned really makes the photo. I want to shoot some mills and will add this one to my list. I hope to get to McConnells Mill SP in Portersvill, PA (about 3 hrs SW of me) this week, and perhaps to Lanterman's Mill, near Youngstown, OH. I may try to get to Glade Creek next spring. I think I prefer the portrait version. It brings the mill a little closer although I like the leading line of the stream on the left in the Original 2 version. This is a tough decision. As I look a little longer, I think I prefer the leading line image. Oh Well, if it was me, I'd have to print both and live with them for a while.   Posted: 10/09/2023 19:01:34

Jose Cartas   Jose Cartas
Interesting use of the drone, to get above the crowd. I prefer the vertical crop, which brings the mill to a power point. You improved the colors a lot with your five exposures and the post-processing. They are a little too vivid, but still not unnatural. The treatment on the water looks good, and it gives a nice balance to the main subject. My eyes flow from the mill, through the rocks, and to the water. I imagine that a couple of weeks later the colors were fantastic!   Posted: 10/10/2023 17:28:34

Tony Au Yeong   Tony Au Yeong
Hi Bob, you final version is more compelling with the waterfall at the right in the foreground and the mill at the back on the left side. A lovely composition. The colors are vibrant and you have certainly bring out the fall. To me the original 2 also looks beautiful though the waterfall on the left is a bit too close to the frame.   Posted: 10/11/2023 03:34:42

Mervyn Hurwitz   Mervyn Hurwitz
This is one of my favorite pictures of yours that you have presented. Your patience and persistence has paid off admirably. I love the composition as my eye travels up the waterfall to the orange water wheel and the mill. The start of the fall colors provide a lovely setting for the composition. It was a good idea to eliminate the left hand waterfall.   Posted: 10/17/2023 04:35:37

John Roach   John Roach
(Group 64)
Fantastic image! Well done.   Posted: 10/24/2023 20:21:14