Catching a glimpse of a rainbow at the waterfall

This is my first image posted here. It’s a new project, I’m working on about catching rainbow-type refraction-effects with my camera, the naked eye doesn’t see. To realize that, first I had to detect the right angle under which the light refraction was visible above the water for about 30 sec. I used a CPL to intensify, waited for the light to get on the scene through the leaves and then tried some variation of exposure time to give me different effects on the water. This experimental photography is a new and quite exciting matter for me, so I would love your feedback to get better with this. The picture is one of about 24 I got, visiting the same waterfall every day for two weeks. The place: Italy, Sardinia, Cascata Sos Molinos

What technical feedback would you like if any?

Exposure time? Longer? Faster? Contrast: ok or too soft? Focus and DoF ok?

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

How do you feel about the dark/light balance? My aim was, to put something mysterious into the scene, does that work?

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

Single shot, Canon EOS 5D III, 24-105mm @92mm, f11, 1 sec, CPL, tripod. I put the focus on the first stone in the middle of the white. Only standard processing via Lightroom on a calibrated monitor, no additional saturation added - contrast and saturation are due to the CPL!

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I really like this photo, it instantly grabbed my attention due to the shapes accentuated by the light portions of the water.
One thing I might try is to brighten the water that is falling down. The waterfall itself seems very dark and blends into the rock behind it. This might be because of the use of the polariser filter.
Shutter speed looks good, although I am curious to see how the ones look with a faster shutter speed, maybe this will recover some details in the brighter parts of the water.

Other than that I really like the idea of your project and admire your persistence to keep returning to this particular waterfall. Great work!

Welcome to NPN, Michaela. This is a wonderful first post here. It just so happens that this week’s Weekly Challenge is also Rainbows so you could enter this in that gallery as well. Personally I like images where the rainbow is a small part of the overall composition but it’s most important part. And this is just like that. One suggestion is to darken the bright wedge at the very top. I’m also not sure about the white water on the right side. In fact, given the overall dark interpretation I would do a square crop of the left half of the image. I find the right area to detract the overall beauty of this image. Thank you for sharing.

Hey @michaela
Welcome to NPN hope you enjoy your time here .
Amazing image. I do like the mood that waterfall creates, the contrast is spot on for me.
As @Igor_Doncov said the only thing I would change would be ratio, to a square crop and lower the highlights from the edges.
Other than that is a very interesting image.

Thanks for sharing,

Thank you @João_Ferrão, @Igor_Doncov and @jurre for your feedback. I was first skeptical about brightening the upper part of the waterfall, tried it - and yes that’s it! The overall picture looks shinnier now. I like that. Then I tried the square cropping too. There’s more harmony in it. I’m fine with that. But I’m losing the glow on the corner right down, thus losing some of three-dimensional impression. So I decided against that, but put it on my todo-list instead: next time down that waterfall, I’ll try to catch this glow in a way, it will survive a square crop :slight_smile: .
Here is a rework considering @jurre 's suggestions about brightening the upper part of the waterfall, and @Igor_Doncov 's to darken the bright upper wedge too.

Hi Igor,
you suggested to enter the photo in the Weekly Challenge gallery. Thank you, I wasn’t aware of that. But isn’t that double posting? Sorry, I’m still not so familiar with the guidelines here, so I would be happy about a hint, how to add the reworked picture there.

Welcome aboard, Michaela and real nice first post. I like what you have done in the rework, as I find it takes the image up another notch. My only suggestion is to clone out the bright spots along and just inside the right edge. Other than that, it looks good.

Thank you @Harley_Goldman, you’re right, by getting rid of these bright spots, the whole picture looks a little bit more framed on the right. I’m not that fond of cloning, so did it mostly by darkening these small areas. Here’s the rework again. And after considering all suggestions, I’m really happy with it. Thank you for helping!waterfall-2-9563

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I believe double posting refers to the same gallery. You can post the same image in multiple galleries, once in each gallery.

Hi Michaela - Welcome to NPN! I think your last post is spot on. The light you captured is very ethereal.

Thank you, Eva. Indeed, some people believe this waterfall is a place to meet the fairies :slight_smile:

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Hi Michaela. Welcome to NPN, this is an outstanding first post. I hope to see other images from this same series, if they are as interesting as this one, it will be something to look forward to.

You made very effective use of light and shadow here to direct the viewer’s eye. I think the tweaks made in the rework take the image up several notches. By darkening those bright patches in the rocks, you place more emphasis on the small falls on the right, making it stronger as an “echo” of the main falls to the left. Good stuff…

Thank you, Ed! Especially your remark on the “echo” was helpful for my next excursion to that place.
There are 2 more photos from this series, No.2, and No.3

I admire your work and success to catch the refraction. Bella!
For me, the right side distracts from the masterful main subject. Staying with your 5x7, I would offer a tighter crop for your consideration.

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