Photographer's Note

I had a tip from Chris Chafer (Sandpiper) last July, that the Carrington Falls in Budderoo National Park was looking good, with better flow than he had seen for some time. A few days later I checked it out for myself, and almost a year later Iím finally posting it.

Carrington Falls are a couple of hours drive south of Sydney, (about 120 km). They are a pretty falls, dropping about 50 metres. The final leg of the trip to them is interesting. There is an extremely steep climb (by car) out of the Kangaroo Valley to get to the top. The road is narrow with a couple of hairpin turns. I found holding ones breath on the drive up helps. To finally arrive at the falls you drive across a small low wooden bridge. This bridge is actually just back of the falls a little way. If the trees on the right at the top werenít in the shot you would see it. Once there, the falls have some interesting trails around them and a couple of different spots to view them. I took this picture straight out from the car parking area (the second one from the falls).

I tried a couple of different things at this one. It is a reasonably tall falls, falling into a dark canyon so I thought I would try an HDR, and a tall Panoramic along with some basic reference shots.

The HDR file I was putting together was disastrous. I took 5 shots for it. The longest exposure of 2 seconds I scrapped immediately for blur in the trees on the right. When I assembled the others this blur between the shots was apparent again. I scrapped a 1 second exposure shot during the processing and ended up with 3. The end product just didnít look good so I scrapped that project, lesson learned; HDR doesnít work if there is any wind at all.

I also tried a tall Panorama. I shot it a shade under exposed at f27 Ĺ second. I assembled it (manually) and ended up cropping out about a third of it. I had white sky which didnít add any value. So in the end I have this (not quite so tall) shot, which I was reasonably happy with.

Some of this from:

Workflow for this shot was as follows:
2 Shots were taken in RAW with jpegs for reference and processed together
Both were shot at ISO 200 29mm @f27, Ĺ sec
I added (extended) canvas to the 1st one, large enough to hold the second file
I copied the second file and pasted onto the larger canvas
I flipped the canvas 90 degrees and zoomed in to help with the alignment.
I used the manual transform tool on the new 2nd layer to adjust size and angle for perfect fit.
Once I was happy with the alignment I added a layer mask to the upper layer and brushed the edge with a 50% opacity black brush to ensure seamless blending
Rotated back to perpendicular, rotated to straight and cropped to present format
Work could progress now as if it was a normal shot
Adjusted levels Ė black points and midpoints (by eye)
Adjusted curves Ė used auto, then tweeked by eye from there Ė pulled highlights down a bit, for the sky (which I later cropped out anyway)
Added an overlay layer and dodged and burned with 5-10% opacity black and white brush
Added saturation layer +25 to master -30 to yellow
Saved as a tiff
Resized, added a layer for sharpening with USM, modified sharpening with a layer mask (40% black brush), mostly toned down the water and the trees on the right, framed and saved as a jpeg.

Photo Information
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Additional Photos by John Plumb (JPlumb) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 710 W: 158 N: 1008] (3159)
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