Back Modifications (4)
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Yosemite National Park- Waterfall

By Sophie95
Again another picture taken of a waterfall! Smile Generally seeing what peoples opinions are on this photo, and the other waterfall picture from inside Yosemite.

Generally looking to improve that is all Smile

Tags: Waterfall Trees Yosemite Landscape and travel

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


ErictheViking 5 124 102 Scotland
18 Dec 2012 11:41AM
If I can start by saying I like the location yo have chosen, but I think this is a situation where you have seen the focus of your attention (the waterfall) and composed the shot to show this with the trees. However most of the shot is just trees which although very nice for me are not adding anything to this photograph. Also the shot for me is overexposed and has a very flat tone ( this was confirmed when I downloaded the image and the levels histogram was almost flat. I have uploaded a mod which I think concentrates on the true subject of your picture, I have adjusted the exposure in levels to increase the contrast of the image and bring more definition into the wonderful cliffs allowing the cliff and the tree tops to frame your waterfall and I have changed the format to landscape (6x4) with a crop.

As I have said this is my interpretation of the image and I may be completely wrong, (if I am I apologise but look at my mod as an alternative to your original idea). The subject is still really good and all I've suggested are adjustments to help improve the image.

Hope you like

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Focus_Man 8 481 631 United Kingdom
18 Dec 2012 12:17PM
I have to agree with Eric here, you do seem to have an excess of extraneous material in your frame detracting from the subject matter that you intended us to see. He has also, IMHO, provided a nice mod. I would have been tempted not to use an aperture of f5 for such a landscape, you need to have plenty of DoF so a smaller one is called for. f8 or f11. It is easy to adjust your ISO to compenate as 64 is quite low in the general scheme of things. I am unsure from EXIF just what FLs were available to you on your lens. If you could have zoomed in more then the picture could be even better.

banehawi Plus
14 1.8k 3893 Canada
18 Dec 2012 4:12PM
Welcome to Ephotozine Sophie.

This, and your earlier gallery shot are quite good shots of the location. Im assuming you used a compact camera, - the Fuji model is not listed?

You have uploaded the original, uncropped shots, so they will appear a little too tall. In this, I think the inclusion of the trees does add a sense of height and scale to the wonderful peak and waterfall behind.

Looking at quality, its sharp, and a decent effort from the camera in P mode to handle shadows and bright light. To do this, i makes some compromises. To improve the shot in post processing, you can in essence look at the shot in two halves; the upper, brighter half containing you focal point, and the lower foreground trees, and they can be adjusted separately. To do this, you have to be familiar with using layers and masks, either in Photoshop of another editor.
The largest improvement to make concerns the fact that the image looks slightly greyish, with muted colours. The reason for this is that whats supposed to be black, is not pure black, and when this is sorted, much of the shot falls into place with contrast and colour, and tone. Nothing you have done wrong btw, - its a decision the camera made. It also decided on F5, which at this focal length is more than enough for a compact, which usually have a deep depth of field.
If you let us know the model, I can let you know what the DOF was for this shot.

I dont know how comfortable with your editing programme, or if you have one, but if you comment back and lest know, we can help you with adjustments.

The composition has two possibilities; the portrait format as presented, and to improve this, apart from the tweaks mentioned, you need to crop space from the bottom; or a landscape (wide) format that shows only the upper area. I personally prefer the portrait, though Ive uploaded modifications that include both crops.

I hope you find this helpful, and I will check back re your editing programme,

Enjoy the site,


iancrowson Plus
8 211 146 United Kingdom
18 Dec 2012 4:35PM
Lots of good advice above.
Good capture of The Upper Yosemite Falls, the highest in North America and one of the highest in the World. They were much photographed by Ansel Adams so you are following in the footsteps on one of the World's greatest ever landscape photographers. Here is a link to an interesting Adam's capture:
Keep on snapping,
18 Dec 2012 5:24PM
Hi everyone,

Thank you for your comments and seeing the modifications are great,
Eric: i hadn't thought of changing the exposure but i find it looks slightly dark now? But will take on board about cropping aswell
Willie: I like your modifications Smile especially with the first i uploaded! Thanks for all the feedback, i actually dont have any editing software, any you recommend? The model of the camera is finepix s5700

Thanks all

paulbroad 10 123 1250 United Kingdom
18 Dec 2012 5:59PM
Yes, a few too many trees. You are nearly a stop over exposed and you could increase density in software. Always check the LCD after exposure and teach yourself what a correct exposure is like. Your compact is unlikely to have apertures smaller than f8.

banehawi Plus
14 1.8k 3893 Canada
18 Dec 2012 6:25PM
Gimp is a free editing software from Google thats decent, - and if you want to spend money, Photoshop Elements is a good place to start. Photoshop is by default the standard for image processing. There are professional editions of Photoshop that can be very expensive unless you are in an education programme that qualifies for a discount, and that discount is very deep.

According to the online calculation tool below, using your camera and guessing 200 feet to the subject, your depth of field, or zone of apparent sharpness if from 10 feet in front of the lens to infinity. So not a worry, but it would be if using a DSLR.


NEWMANP 10 1.6k 574 United Kingdom
18 Dec 2012 10:14PM
looks a great location and im sure its inspired by a famous Ansel Adams image.
from a camera direct im sure it was as good as you could expect to get ,a fair average exposure with a full range of tones, nice composition similar to the original.

the problem then is before you hit the shutter, you are then competing against one of the worlds best ever landscapers. and top end landscaping despite the views of some is not an easy option.

so we ask what did he do so different to get his final result that we cant get with new technology and there are quite a few reaons.

firstly he shot when the conditions were perfect, something the experienced landscaper will always seek although i appreciate on a tourist trip we have to take what presents itself, then he shot on large format black and white and the final prints were printed with tonal adjustments in specific areas or zones which effectively gives you a good deal more control than can be acheived with limited dynamic range of a digital sensor.

exposing for an average scene will fade out the colour in the sky in an image like this and usually its the biggest problem but you have to your credit held some colour in there.

i suppose compositionally it would be better to get behind the tres and find a more interesting foreground link but im guessing that you are limited to given viewing platforms.

so given what you had its a nice record of a magnificent scene
iancrowson Plus
8 211 146 United Kingdom
19 Dec 2012 5:04PM
Yes Phil's right, Adams usually left the beaten track to make his images. A large part of success of landscape photography is finding a good scene and then working out from where to take the shot. Plus of time of year, time of day, sky ,light etc.
In the link above details off the route to a good vantage point are given should you visit again

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