Sherman Falls in Autumn

Firstly, I want to thank the community here at NPN for all the great learning and feedback I’ve received. While I haven’t been a member for very long, It’s already been a great resource that I find invaluable in my photography. Thank you for that!

This is a shot of Sherman Falls in Ontario, Canada, back at the beginning of November. I’ve been wanting a shot with the ground covered in fallen leaves for a few years now, and was finally able to time my visit perfectly.

What technical / artistic feedback would you like if any?

Any feedback would be great, but would really like your thoughts on the composition and if you feel the foreground tree and the waterfall are fighting for subject dominance.

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

D850 - 16 mm - ƒ/8 - 6 sec - ISO 64 - Late in the evening and light was low - 3 exposure focus stack

If you would like your image to be eligible for a feature on the NPN Instagram (@NaturePhotoNet),

#ig @chrisnoronhaphoto

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

I really like this. The cascade is nicely done, but the star of the show is the foreground tree. It’s color, texture and the shapes of the roots are quite compelling. The maple leaves are a nice touch. Lovely fall scene.

I like the warm color balance, and your processing looks real good to me.

1 Like

I find this composition to be awkward. I can’t think any other way to describe it. Perhaps it’s because there seems to be no relationship in my mind between the tree and the falls. It’s as though you’ve put two subjects into the image because you liked each one. I think that’s the cause of the feeling but I’m not sure. Sorry for the harshness. Others may feel differently.


Chris, it does look like you arrived at this falls during perfect conditions. and I like your processing of color here too, it has a nice late autumn feel…

Unfortunately I do think the falls and the tree are fighting too much with each other for dominance. Less would be more here, pick either the tree or the waterfall as the primary subject, and build a composition to emphasize it.

If you were interested in emphasizing the tree, I would crop away about half of the falls from the top, at least it would eliminate the hotspot created by the sky.

1 Like

Thanks @Preston_Birdwell @Igor_Doncov @Ed_McGuirk

Igor; No need to apologize at all! I really appreciate your candor and feedback. Because art is so subjective, learning from someone with a different taste is a great way to grow. Which is another reason I’ve found NPN such a valuable resource.

Ed; I will try cropping as per your suggestion and re-posting.

Thanks again for the great feedback!


A little late here, but wanted to chime in.

I think this is quite unique. Unique in your compositional choice here. And honestly, I don’t think it’s a good - or bad thing; i’d say unique and a bit outside the box.

So, yes, there is a conflict between two prominent elements. I love the foreground slope, roots/tree and the lovely autumn leaves (glad you were able to get your ground covered fallen leaves image.)

Interesting choice in your opening comments, “This is a shot of Sherman Falls…” which tells the viewer that is your primary subject? But your goal was also to find that foreground element with the fallen autumn leaves… you found it! That foreground element with the interesting root system, the angled slope, etc. all make for an excellent primary subject! forget the falls… Not sure if I’m making sense where I’m going here… but you found and crafted a foreground element so compelling, it most certainly competes with the falls - which are more distant as well.

There in lies the dilemma… is the composition weaker because of the conflict… or is it unique enough with both elements having enough strength to be included together… the great question. And I think at some level, it works if one steps out of the main stream for a minute…


1 Like