Calypso Cascades

Modified image

Critique Style Requested: Standard

The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.


This image is from a recent trip to Rocky Mountain National Park. They’ve been having a wet spring there, and while that sometimes made the hiking a little uncomfortable, it was great for the waterfalls.

Specific Feedback

I’m looking for general feedback. I experimented with several different shutter speeds to find one that I thought best conveyed the incredible flow of water. A vertical composition made sense to me to capture the length of the falls, but I did end up cropping out a bit of the top to exclude the sky. Its a cluttered composition because of all the logs in the falls.

Technical Details

Taken at 24mm, f/16 and 1/6 sec. I processed it in Lightroom with the usual global exposure and color adjustments, and additionally a bit of local dodging and burning.

1 Like

I think this is a stunning image. I love seeing texture in the water and think you nailed the blur. I also think vertical was the way to go. It shows off those magnificent tall pines. Yes, it’s cluttered, but I think that the fallen trees being mostly parallel to each other, actually strengthens the photo for me. They add to the tension of the water. That first log is perfectly placed so it draws your eye out of the picture, but the one at the end zigs you right back in. The big stones are beautiful and powerful like the water. The green moss is a nice bonus. This isn’t even a suggestion, but maybe something you might try to see if it keeps the eye from being draw to it. The log that is standing straight up in the middle of the fall at the very back of the longest fall sometimes catches my eye. This is a very strong, powerful and beautiful shot. One worth hanging on the wall.

What Donna said! My only suggestion is to think about burning down the light trunk on the right border.

I’m just back from the Sierras and all the creeks and rivers are raging from a record snowmelt – too much to even try to shoot them, for me.

@Donna_Callais I was also getting bugged by the log at the back. I generally try to minimize the things I clone out of an image, but I tried it and I do think it helps.

@Diane_Miller I had already taken down the brightness of the trunk on the RHS, but I think you’re right that it was still distracting. So I darkened it some more.

I’ve edited the post to add a modified version of the image that incorporates both of your suggestions. Thanks for your help.

This looks great!