The Gorge

image A long exposure at the gorge in Oregon. Please let me know wary I could improve on this photo.

Hi Harrison. Your image didn’t show up. Please remember to click on the little picture icon up above the text box. Then you can add your description afterward.

Harrison, this location has a lot of things going on within it, any my initial reaction was that it would have benefited from some “less is more” simplification of the composition. But as I spent time studying the image, I concluded that you did a pretty reasonable job of achieving a balanced composition. The spotlit log and rock are nicely framed by everything around them. I am a little torn about the dark tree on the right, it competes with the center of the image, and does break up the symmetry of the composition. But there is not much you can do about it without major cloning. I also think the shadows in the image are a too dark, I would like to see more detail there.

Harrison, I like the s curve of the stream through the image. To my eye the image is way too dark. The shadows should be opened up some more . I think I would also crop some of the right off to balance the image a little more.:vulcan_salute:

Welcome to NPN, Harrison. I like the overall scene and your chosen SS works well for the water. If you could post the technicals it always helps when critiquing an image. I think if you used the sliders in levels to open the shadows a bit it would help draw the viewer into this beautiful lush scene. Cropping a little from the right side would move that large boulder from the middle of the frame and add a little visual tension. This beautiful scene is well worth a couple of small tweaks. I look forward to more of your posts.

Hi Harrison, apart from the shadow details, I also think that a big part of the image is not sharp enough. The focus point seems to be right in the center of the frame and then it falls off very quickly to the sides. What aperture did you shot this on?

Welcome Harrison!

I agree that a little focus work is needed, but I had to go back and look for it after Adhika’s review. For me the overall comp, shutter speed and lighting work so well together that I didn’t notice the focus until opening the larger version. Complex scenes such as this can be extremely challenging to work with, but immensely satisfying when you get the comp right. And you nailed it!


I think your composition is quite solid and I’m really liking the treatment of the water; the whites are clean and beautiful.

You don’t mention any technicals - which are quite helpful for folks so they can perhaps understand the choices that were made for the photograph. I don’t want to guess or assume - but will guess that you shot this in Program mode? What typically happens is that the brightness of the water in the long exposure cause the camera and exposure to be influenced by the bright water, leaving the darker areas under exposed.

So I would agree with the others that this is quite dark. A scene like this might even require 2 or more different exposures blended together; but not necessarily.

If you don’t have any detail in the RAW exposure, I’m not sure what can be done in POST. You can certainly raise the exposure level, but the very dark areas like the far left and upper left might not have any detail to recover. do you have other exposures or versions that you might be able to work with?

Certainly a great scene with lots of potential.


Thank you hank! Yes this was in a low light situation (before sunrise) so I had to stop my aperture rather low .