Mountain stream

I just returned from a trip to the Smokies in east Tennessee. I always enjoy walking by the streams under the dense canopy of trees. I tried capturing that experience here.

Specific Feedback Requested

Any - composition, technical, processing, etc.

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Canon 7D2, efs 17-55mm f2.8 @35mm
ISO 100, f13, 1/15s


Lovely type of scene overall, @Allen_Sparks. It certainly conveys the experience of walking along the riverside trails in certain parts of the park. I like the longer shutter speed you chose while still maintaining a good amount of texture. I think elevating your perspective some might’ve helped add some separation between the rocks at the bottom. As presented, it seems that the rocks appear merged and pull the eye down to the bottom.

A beautiful but challenging scene to be sure. Your foliage is sharp which at 1/15 of a second reveals light to no winds…so nice when that happens! One of the things I struggle with in the Appalachian streams is differentiating the whiteness of the rock from the whitewater. I think @Adam has a good point that may have allowed for greater separation of these two elements. You could also consider burning some of the rocks in the FG.

I agree that the rocks at the very bottom should be burned in. I would also crop the foliage from the top so that the image is half foliage and half river. I say this because the foliage is all pretty much alike whereas the river has different components and therefore more interest.

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I agree with the points made by @Igor_Doncov on burning and cropping. But I do think you did a really nice job with processing the color of the leaves, you really nailed that balancing of greens and yellows that says spring. While the color of the leaves are very well done, I think Igor’s suggestion to crop some of them away improves the image from a visual interest standpoint.

Played with this a little bit since it was such an inviting scene. Obviously went with a crop, but also did a lot of dodging and burning to bring out the water texture, yellow leaves, reduce the effect of the lighter rocks and create shadows in the woods. Hope you like it and don’t mind.

@Adam_Bolyard @Jim_McGovern @Igor_Doncov @Ed_McGuirk @Kris_Smith
Thank you all for the suggestions and the rework Kris!

Here is another frame I took of the same cascade a little more upstream with a tighter composition and burning in the foreground rocks. I’m thinking this is a little more like what you have suggested: