Exploration of a New Zealand canyon

Hey all, open to any feedback here.
Just a bit of back story - after discovering a goldmine website full of great resourses like PDFs and elevations maps of ‘semi wilderness’, often off-track NZ canyons and gorges, I was super excited to go off and explore.
So after following my nose up a loosely marked track and sliding down a small but steep landslide down the side of the track, I reached the bottom of the canyon.
And so I happened across this scene a few minutes of climbing upstream. The verticality and stack of giant mossy immediately caught my attention.
Unfortunately I was unable to properly traverse the main part of the canyon it’s self, due to a series of significant waterfalls, impassable without ropes and proper climbing gear.
May need to learn some new skills in the near future…
Anyway, let me know your thoughts!

Oh I’ll also add that this was focus stacked at f11, 24mm, ISO 100 and 5 second exposures. The water was blended in during post at F8, ISO 500 and 1/3 of a second exposures.

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.

IG @michaelmcgeephotography

Very pretty scene, peaceful and tranquil.
Fine as is, but this would be improved (IMO) with a crop from the top at about the levelof the tree, to remove the tree and 1/2 of all the dead space above the top bit of stream.
The stream and waterfall are the focus here, and that would emphasize them.

Beautiful meandering stream and rich green color. I would agree with Sandy’s crop suggestion, but not a deal breaker either. It looks quite nice as presented.

This is a fine image Michael. The S shaped composition leads you up beautifully. The greens are well processed to a richness. The star of the show for me is that wet rock. You can almost feel the wetness. I like the foliage as either a source or destination of viewing. I don’t feel it’s dead space. There is little to improve here. Maybe eliminate that stick on the left? But it’s really not an irritation. Good work.

I can’t thing of anything to improve. I like the diversity of elements and the good color and texture throughout the scene. I like the top just fine as is. There’s plenty of interest there in the well-defined leaves and branches.


Beautiful image. I too am really enjoying the elegant curves of the small stream. The processing and the greens especially are done beautifully.

Hard pressed to be critical of anything, certainly no nits. All I can think of reflects my personal problem with vertical digital format (generally speaking…) I think the composition might “feel” better with a little cropped both top and bottom. Problem there, don’t want to lose any of the flowing water at the bottom, and up top, I actually like the “hole” in the vegetation above providing a sense that the stream is emanating from there… You could get away with shaving a little off the top, but not so much that you would make a big difference.

Well done!


Nice stream scene. Great colors with a leading line of the stream. Only nit pic I would have would be a slight blow out ? That white next to the rock at the bottom keeps drawing my eye back down. But like I said it is nit picking.