Tsaina River Rapids - Fall

I’ve posted this before but it fit the challenge category so here it is again. I wanted to capture the Fall colors of the Tsaina River gorge while the river was slower and turning from muddy to glacial silt blue. Unfortunately, there were a couple serious challenges. One problem was the extremely bright sunlight on the clouds, snowy mountain peaks and the yellow leaves of the deciduous trees in contrast to the deep, dark shadows of the canyon on the north side. The other problem was that the only place I could get a view looking down the river without trees and brush in front of me was a very small point of rock jutting out from the cliff (about 200 ft above the river) on the outside of a sharp bend in the river. To get this image, I crawled out on the rock point, set up the tripod (about 2 ft. high) and shot 3 sets of 3 vertical photos (left to right) with high, mid & dark exposures. Then, at home on the computer I first blended each of the 3 sets to get 3 blended HDR images and then stitched those 3 images into this single image.

Specific Feedback Requested

Any feedback is always appreciated.

Technical Details

Shot with a fixed lens Sony R-1 camera. See the image description for details of the process. All of the EXIF data got lost in the multiple blending & stitching so I don’t have those details without going back to my archives and digging up the single frames.


Gary, your processing efforts show beautifully here. The fall colors look good. It’s clearly a long way down to that nicely blue, glacial river and the river pulls my eyes to the distant mountains and very interesting sky.

Hi Gary! This shot has so much going on, but I think it works because there are things to look at everywhere. It all balances. I enjoy your tale of how you got the photo. I often find myself in somewhat compromised locations trying to line the shot up just right.