Desolation Falls

Although this was a very bright day I wanted to give this image a very dark look.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

(If this is a composite, etc. please be honest with your techniques to help others learn)

Canon 5DM4 ISO 500 24 mm f/11 1/250 sec

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A nice waterfall scene. It is a personal vision thing, but the darkness isn’t quite working for me. The water is looking kind of gray. I did a quick levels layer and brought in the white point, but that may conflict with your concept here.


I can see where you were going with this, but I’m inclined to agree with Harley’s comments. You didn’t mention how you went about this in post, but it does indeed look like an underexposed image on a “very bright day.” Just me, but it’s a tall order to make a dark, moody image when a goodly proportion of the image is white water.

Might not be your vision, but I could see bringing some of the luminosity back in the canyon walls. I think this might also benefit from a bit of a crop from both sides. For me, the scene is all about the cascading water AND the star of the scene is the mist/spray in the back.


I’ll go with Harley’s and Lon’s comments and also suggest I would go for a vertical crop of this nice scene.

I agree with the other comments about the luminosity issues.
The sprays in the back look great, I think playing with a tele towards that area might be interesting too.

I agree with the others comments about the luminosity. To my taste, the dark style of landscape processing is most effective when the dark areas can be used to accentuate, define, and draw attention to important highlight areas. In my opinion, the strongest highlight area you have here is the backlit spray in the background. As presented, the dark areas in the trees and foreground do not do a very effective job of pulling my eye into the spray, and you have other water highlights in the foreground that compete with the spray. The dark areas that do accentuate the spray are the background rock cliffs. I think @Michael_Lowe suggestion of a vertical helps somewhat in this regard. I also think using a longer focal length to extract the background as a horizontal might have also looked interesting.

Thanks everyone for the comments. One of the things that I value about this group is knowing you are going to get honest critiques of your work. I had a sense that I was pushing this picture too far and your input is very helpful.