At the end of Summer 2009, my wife, son, and I took a trip to the Oregon coast to visit her brother and his family. A rest stop to visit Multnomah Falls is right in the middle of the Interstate, so ya just gotta plan the time into a trip to stop along the route and view the most photographed waterfall in the world. You just gotta!
Anyway, I was just digging through my photography archives to see if I had a pic of the falls to try my hand at my newly developed HDR processing skills. The pic I found, the one featured here, was the first worthy image I happened across. I might have a better pic in my archives, but I didn’t bother looking further once I decided to choose this image to process. I guess if I decide to make a print I’ll look for a better image and maybe take more time to process it, but this one worked out good enough to hone my technique.
Besides producing an HDR, I was also experimenting with the golden ratio, so I cropped this image in a way that put the bridge along the lines of Phi. I also wanted to crop out the top and bottom of the waterfall to give the imagination somewhere to start and go to. Pssst… but if you really want to know… the top is cropped right at the point where it spills over the cliff’s edge, and the bottom is ~half cropped out, mostly to eliminate much of the boring, barren gravel and stone in the bottom left side of the cliff face, as well as to achieve ~Phi.
I also double-tone mapped the image, which I typically would do for a moody effect, but I went the opposite way with this image to pop the shadow detail in the cliff face, underbrush, tree interior, and the convexes of the falls. The set below shows the original exposure (SOOC), the initial tone mapped image, the double tone mapped image, and the final HDR after masking out some of the harsh highlights and enhancing the interesting orange underbrush at left-center. The beauty of this HDR is that it was created from a single RAW image, which I manually created a bracketed set from (-1,0,+1 EC), and it was also a hand-held composition (and believe me the entire time I hiked around the falls I was wishing I had my tripod with me!).
View the set in slideshow mode to watch the transition. :-)