Landscape Photography – Looking Upstream

Oops! Quick change of plans. I’m heading for the Angelina National Forest late this afternoon (about 150 mile drive from Sugar Land) and I’ll be up before dawn to catch the sunrise over Boykin Springs. This time of year the early morning light is much warmer and softer, especially in the East Texas Piney Woods.

Here is another image of rocks, trees and water taken while looking upstream at the Pedernales Falls State Park near Johnson City, Texas (birth place of President Lyndon B. Johnson). I’ll be visiting this wonderful park once again late next week to (hopefully) capture some beautiful sunrise and sunset shots. We’ve had a little rain lately so I’m hoping for better waterfall shots as well.

By the way, the difference in exposure between the foreground (rocks & water) and the background (sky & clouds) in this image was almost 5 stops. Rather than bracket my exposures to create an HDR image I decided to use a 3-Stop/Soft rectangular Singh-Ray Graduated Neutral Density Filter held in place in front of the lens using a Cokin “P” Series Filter Holder.

In my opinion, no Photomatix Pro, Lightroom or Photoshop technique is as simple and as foolproof as using an ND-Grad for this common landscape situation. Don’t take my word for it, read what landscape professional Steve Kossack has to say on the subject of “using graduated neutral density filters“.

Looking Upstream

Looking Upstream at Pedernales Falls State Park – Johnson City, Texas
Copyright © 2009 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 40D set on aperture priority (Av) using an EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM tripod-mounted. The exposure was taken at 24mm, f/9 for 1/100th of a second at ISO 100 on Sandisk digital film. Post capture processing was done in Lightroom 2. Click on the image above for a larger version.

You can also find a 1200 x 800 version of this image and many others on my Flickr site.

2 thoughts on “Landscape Photography – Looking Upstream

  1. Beautiful image. I really like the layers as I work back from the rocks in the foreground to the sky in the background. I can agree with you re: a 3-stop GND up to a point. Where I have problems is when there is a jagged/uneven line. The GND doesn’t quite work the way I would like and I will go to a 3- or 5- image composition HDR with Photomatix.

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