Welcome to February 2014. It's time to turn the page on the calendar.
The canyon at the falls is 377 ft deep, exposing a large cross-section of the basalt. The lower falls in this photo are about 180 ft. high. The upper falls are just to the left behind a rock outcrop and are about 20 ft. high. On April 21, 2009, Tyler Bradt ran the falls in a kayak setting an unofficial world record for the highest waterfall run (You Tube video).
I could adjust my camera to bring the exposure down and darken the bright areas, but that made the shadow areas too dark.
|Under exposed 2-stops|
I could also adjust the other way, making the photo brighter so the details can be seen in the shadows, however that made the bright areas too bright.
|Over exposed +1 stop|
Here's where patience comes in. If you look at the two photos above you can see the sun was hitting the left side of the canyon creating a bright spot. These shots were taken at 8:00 PM. We decided to hang around a while longer waiting on the sun to set, which would reduce the dynamic range of the light, potentially making a photo possible. The photo on the calendar was taken 49 minutes later.
Even at 8:49 the sky was still much brighter than inside the canyon. To compensate I took three shots at three different exposures (-1 1/3, -1/3, +2/3 stops) and blended them together using Nik HDR Efex software to create the February photo. Of course this burst of three shots was taken with the camera on a tripod.
I wouldn't have gotten this shot if it wasn't for June. It had been a long day, we had been at the falls for two hours and we had a long drive back to the hotel. Many of our group had already left and I was ready to pack it in and leave. June said "why don't you take one more?" I have learned to listen when June gives me a suggestion like this. I walked over to the canyon edge and took the shots. They turned out to be the best of the day!