The Altar

This is a recent image of a local waterfall in the west of Scotland. The waterfall is actually about twice this size but I have focused in on the lower section, principally, to capture the reflection and use it as a leading line into the falls. There are lots of little details scattered throughout the image that I enjoy also, such as, the light catching sections of the dark rock, the yellow and green mosses and the little red leaves stuck to rocks.

Specific Feedback Requested

Composition, processing, etc.

Are the darks too dark?

Are the lights too light?

Red leaves left of the falls - should I bring them out more or leave them as is? I’ve actually toned down their brightness and saturation as I found them slightly distracting but I do like them as a detail.

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
f/ 8 (focus stack)
0.6 sec
ISO 80

In processing, i have tried to keep the darks dark and the lights light without going too far with either - as to whether I’ve achieved this I don’t know. I have emphasized the areas in the dark rock where the light was catching and the brighter areas of moss on the right.

I have also locally added and removed a little saturation to emphasize the moss on the right but reduce the distraction of the foreground rocks on the left.

Overall I’ve tried to maintain a natural feel and bring out a sense of mystery, which is the feeling I get from this little area.

This is very nice. Love the overall mood here. I thought the boulder on the LLC would bother me, but when I saw it big I felt Ok with it,
It sure has some religious/mystical fell in here.

This looks good to me! I love the shutter speed for the white water, against the dark rocks. A beautiful altar.

Love this type of comment!

There is an elegance to this image due to it’s darkness with luminosity placed strategically here and there. I guess it’s the Rembrandt lighting that works here so well. The water does look like a bridal veil. Love this image.

I enjoy the beautiful flow of light and energy from top to bottom. Top is strong, massive, colorful. Middle is gently forceful, and bottom is simply gentle. The saturation of top right and bortom left rocks is very successful; I noticed that before reading your notes. Darks and lights could not be better to convey the mystical energy to me. That tiny twig on top left edge could be cloned out, I think … micro nit.

Many times waterfall images don’t succeed because people try to show too much of them and their surrounding area. This introduces distractions and reduces the impact of the waterfall. It was a great choice on your part to show only a section of the waterfall. The simplification and isolation of the falls places greater emphasis on the design elements within the scene. Less is more, and this image does a great job of simplifying an image for greater impact.

Could not be better.

Thanks all. It’s great to see I’m on the right track here as I find it very difficult to assess my own images objectively, particularly, when they’re new.

I’m glad a few of the features I was trying to implement have come through.

Ed - I completely agree. I took some wider shots too and they’re not really keepers for the reasons you point out - too much going on and so the subject / point of the image is lost.

Dick - I’m quite picky about what I clone out (probably overly so). Sometimes I think a little ‘flaw’ can help keep an image firmly connected to the reality of a place. That said, I think I agree with you in this instance that the top left twig is a distraction. It’s also soft so I think I’ll take it out. Well spotted.

Ok, so not to be misunderstood, let me correct/clear what i meant

"It sure has some religious/mystical feel in here.

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