We will resume the Niagara Falls Garden magazine with a Wordless Wednesday post called, The Buzzers and the Flappers. But today, we have the GWGT entry for Gardening Gone Wild, Picture This contest. Thank you Fran and judge Joshua McCullough. I tried not being too cliché by avoiding photographing the popular places from Niagara Falls, but the last two show the American Falls, well, the brink anyway.
My entry is the image above. Just a note on this entry and a few of the following. When shooting at the Falls, some images must be framed pretty much as shown to get certain angles and perspectives. Otherwise if you stretch any further, you fall in! There are limited (legal) places to get close to the rapids and brush is often heavy and difficult to shoot around. But it does make it authentic. As an artist, I would prefer to have pretty foregrounds, but you almost take what you get at the Falls. The Parks department makes a great effort to clear the vegetation for visitors to have the best views. But nature comes along and fills it all back in.
I was at Luna Island at the Falls, and the day was very calm. This is an area having mini falls and is much less viewed by tourists. I used a tripod for all my shots. The camera was set to Shutter Priority Mode to gauge the manual settings for aperture and shutter speed which I deviated by setting the camera in Manual Mode for more control. It is a good starting point I think.
I set aperture to between 22 and 25. I changed ISO between shots from a starting point of 100. And you can see I shot in bright morning sun at between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. so I could have done better slightly earlier but compensated with the ISO setting and polarizing filter. The colors would have been stronger and glare would have been reduced off the water in some of the many shots. Well, those I did not have the polarizing filter on the lens, anyway.
I think the one above has the best movement of water, I like the droplets splashing as tiny sparkles. I think this one could have benefited with a curve adjustment. There is nice lights and darks with which to work.
This one has a cool splash, so I did not make this quite as blurred, but substantially more than the Auto settings below. I cropped it too. I was shooting with a lot of sun. This one I believe has more movement than the auto shot below. Better tones too, I think.
The next one, I can not remember exactly how I got this one. I liked the bright moss quite a bit. I could have selectively sharpened it somewhat to bring out the brush like swirls, but I just left it as is. It really does not look like a photo, but it is one.
Camera on Auto below, same shot as above. I did have a polarizing filter on the lens, so this helped with the bright morning light a bit, by cutting down the amount of light entering the camera. See what happens to the foreground? It loses definition. If I edited this shot in Photoshop, I could have gotten a much better foreground.
I am at a bit of a loss as to how this really shows movement. Not a good thing to admit, but the Falls are so powerful and so commanding that nothing can make the movement in their capture seem faster; or at least that I can do. I think my first image with the mini falls shows the rapids a bit tamer. BTW… they move along at 30 mph! Not all that speedy, but impossible to escape at that speed. And there was a rescue yesterday too. Check the news, the rescuers needed to be rescued. Very scary.
And if you like the Falls, see the night shots on Green Apples. They are lit in colors of the spectrum. It is so pretty in person.