October 5, 2009

Fairy Tale Waterfall

Buttermilk Falls, Ithaca, New York

     This shot was taken on a family hike down the Buttermilk Falls near Cayuga Lake. In order to get that silky smooth water fall, I used a 0.6 Neutral Density filter (the neutral density filter is basically a dark piece of glass that sits in front of the camera in order to slow the shutter speed enough to get the silky waterfall). One of the challenges of this shot was the dappled light that was erratically falling throughout the frame. This created a high difference in the light I was exposing for. Luckily (thanks to the awesome meter in my camera...) it exposed just in between and I was able to dodge and burn to enhance the fairy tale-like look the camera gave me. One thing I find great about dodging and burning is that it gives you an opportunity to lead the audience's eye where you want it to go. For example, the eye starts in the small waterfall in the bottom-most left hand corner and gradually follows the line of falls until it settles in the middle. Keeping the viewers focus inside the frame is what makes people think it is a good photograph. I also added a blur to the edges of rocks that don't have falls going over them, just to further make sure the eye is where it needs to be.


  1. I do expect a character to appear..... Definitely has an ethereal quality. Nice job!