Norvan Falls

This one was a bit of a hike . It was about 17km to the floor of this fall. Great trails in North Vancouver by the way! We made it by lunch and started capturing this scene. It took a while to get a clear shot as this location was well known.

Type of Critique Requested

  • Aesthetic: Feedback on the overall visual appeal of the image, including its color, lighting, cropping, and composition.
  • Conceptual: Feedback on the message and story conveyed by the image.
  • Emotional: Feedback on the emotional impact and artistic value of the image.
  • Technical: Feedback on the technical aspects of the image, such as exposure, color, focus and reproduction of colors and details, post-processing, and print quality.

Specific Feedback and Self-Critique

I still struggle with capturing sharp images but I think I’m getting better. Only time will tell I guess. I like the overall composition. Things I would change are the distance to the fall without losing the foreground. I don’t know if I could do anything with the brown colour of the water.

Technical Details

I’ll need to get that info if I can find it! This was from about 4 years ago.

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Hey man,
The brown color of the water does not bother me at all, in fact it’s a nice contrast.
What’s bugging me is the blown out water. Highlights should never look grey like that, which means you pulled down the highlights slider way too far. Bright stuff should be white not grey. I think this also means you may have over-exposed the image but I’d be curious what the histogram looks like on the RAW image.
As far as the framing and comp - I think it works “OK” - the really nice parts are the green ferns at top - they have a nice framing component to them, so don’t mess with that… the brown rock at middle center feels really out of out place and would have helped your composition a lot more if it was on the lower left instead. Also, a CPL could have helped to eliminate some of that glare/reflection on the boulder too… which I would have done because you don’t want that bright boulder to compete with the falls themselves. Hope this helps.

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Great tips. Thank you Matt. I’ll try this one again this spring.

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Aesthetically, this is a very pleasing image. I love the framing of the falls by the wonderfully green trees, I love the square crop and I even like the round boulder at the bottom of the image and the reddish-brown water that help anchor the waterfall in the frame.

Technically, as Matt already pointed out, the white highlights and the overall grey look of the waterfall feels strange. The motion blur of the water on the other hand, especially in the bottom part of the falls looks good to me.

You say that you struggle with capturing sharp images. Do you know why that is? I’m assuming you’re using a tripod to get long shutter speeds like this. Is it maybe not stable, and moves or vibrates during the exposure? Or is the sharpness problem really just a depth of field issue? Or simply poor focusing?

Hi Tom. I think for this one I was balancing one of the legs of the tripod on a log and the other two were in ankle deep water. This may have had an adverse effect! I’m going back to this location in the spring. I’m going to find a more stable position!