Hidden away (With Reworked Edit)

Reworded Edit below

On the return trip from dropping my daughter off in Washington (for her masters degree at UW) I found this off the beaten path water fall where I was the only one there for 4 hours. It took me 3 hours to find this place. It was off a non maintained dirt road, single track winding up into the hills and the tip I got was to look for a notch in a tree near a gravel pull out. That was pretty much it. I missed it 3 times and after almost giving up I tried going back one more time and I found the tiny trailhead and the notch in the tree. I can’t remember the name of this waterfall but it sure was hard to find so I titled this image hidden away.
I can’t remember ever being to a waterfall this beautiful without having to share it with dozens or hundreds of other people. That’s the great part about being hard to find…Nobody can find it! :slight_smile:

Specific Feedback Requested

Nothing specific. Any and all recommendations are always welcome.

Technical Details

Z7ii, 14-30mm lens @ 14mm, 1 second, ISO 64, f/14


Oh how great - in terms of the photo and the experience. I had something similar happen when I lived in NH. The falls I shot have a name, but they are undocumented and the trailhead unlabeled and unmarked. I bushwhacked along a stream to find mine.

Anyway…glad you didn’t have to share on the spot, but are sharing here. I like the overall soft light and how that allows us to see all over. That said, the contrast seems a bit low here and you could try some subtle light sculpting using some luminosity masks as stencils to dodge and burn. Color balance and saturation looks good, too and I’m glad your water isn’t blue! Pet peeve alert. I’d also have a go at maybe seeing if you could make the foreground rocks a bit more prominent to see if that helps lead us through that area more deliberately.

What a gorgeous spot.

David, what a story you have told us! All the time it took you to find this waterfall was well spent. You came home with a beautiful photo. I love waterfalls – in spite of the fact we don’t get to see many of those in Texas. On top of that, the long exposure is dreamy.

Lines, lines, and more lines. This photo has plenty of those to guide our eyes to the waterfall. I like the angles and lines on both sides of the waterfall with the terrain creating lines leading to the bottom of the falls. The rocks in the foreground also anchor and point to the bottom of the falls. As @Kris_Smith suggested, maybe just a bit of dodging in some rock edges would accentuate that slightly. The next thing I say is just nitpicking. I’d love to have seen a bit more of the falls that are cut off the frame towards the left side of the image. I don’t know if that was cropped intentionally or just could not fit in this frame.

This is a beautiful image.

On a side note, let’s do an edit with blue water in honor of @Kris_Smith. :grinning:

David, wonderful story and excellent image. I love the foreground/background mix, they complement each other and the foreground leads me into the fall. I agree with @Kris_Smith and @EgĂ­dio_LeitĂŁo that the foreground could use a touch brightening up. Not so much as it would take away from the fall, but enough to blend with the rest of the image.

Thanks for sharing the story, and thanks for posting this fine image.

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What a nice find, Lovely falls, FG is bright enough for me.


This is simply gorgeous. I commend you on some masterful post processing. There are some dark areas, but you’ve kept things from blocking up. I love the clean whites of the falls and how the water beautifully contrasts with the rest of the scene.

Oh, and I didn’t notice until a return visit - but those sun-lit highlights up top are a great addition - Even though the touch is really small - I love those sunlight highlights in the main falls. Others may have to look twice!

No nits or suggestions. Love this.


Really lovely shot! I dig waterfalls and this one is great! If I had to be nit-picky I would paint and drop the exposure of the bright line on the rock in the bottom right. Just barely distracting. You nailed this shot!

OMG, I’m sorry it took so long to get back to guys. @Kris_Smith, @Egídio_Leitão, @David_Bostock, @Dan_Kearl, @Lon_Overacker, @David_Johnston…Thanks so much for your input into this image.

I have included an reworked edit that includes the light sculpting that some of you mention to bring out the foreground a little bit and I did some additional dodging and burning elsewhere. I also took care of the bright orange strip in the bottom LRC that @David_Johnston brought up. Great catch. How do we miss these things??? I also cropped a bit off the right side. Not sure if that helps or makes it worse but the right side was kind of boring so that’s why I did it.
Let me know if this is better or needs more work. I have played with this image quite a bit and continue to tinker. I just don’t ever seem to be quite finished with this one. Oh well.
As always, your input is invaluable to making mine and everyone else’s images better. Thanks for that.

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I Like the OP better…water is too bright in the repost for me and I think the darker FG in the OP adds some mystery to the image.

I think you’re right Dan. I think I cooked it. Thanks for the second opinion on this. I really do appreciate it.

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