Today, I Celebrate…

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A river seems a magic thing—a magic, moving, living part of the very earth itself.

—LAURA GILPIN THE RIO GRANDE, 1949

 

Story behind the image…

Each visit to Yellowstone finds me drawn to some of my favorite locations over and over.  No two times are ever the same whether it’s a different time of day, a different season, different weather or even if I use a different lens or exposure to create an image.  Lower Yellowstone Falls is one the places I am drwan back to time and again.  This time we were on a very limited schedule and ended up at the falls around midday when most self respecting photographers were having lunch, planning their afternoon shoot or simply relaxing by the river, enjoying the day.

As I stood there mesmerized by the power of the water flowing over the cliff and the resulting spray of water that swirled around the base of the falls I wondered how I could capture the magic of the movement with a still image.  That’s when I decided to do a five frame bracket (ISO 100 f32 @ 1/10 sec base exposure) and merge the images together in HDR fashion only not for exposure but for the effect I would get.  Yes, it would flatten out the shadows providing more detail in the canyon walls and eliminate some of the contrast but, even more importantly, it would blend the falling water and spray in a way that a single click can not capture giving the water an ethereal look.  In addition, because I didn’t have my nd filter with me to slow the water down the multi exposure blend would give a slightly blurred effect at it blends the moving water exposures together.  I love how the people on the platform at the top of the falls add scale to the immense size of the falls.  Nikon D4, AF-S 80-400mm 4.5-5.6 VR @ 290mm