On a recent trip to Costa Rica, I set out to capture a great waterfall image. The problem is that no one exposure would do the job. I could capture the sky, and the trees were muddy. If I captured the trees, the sky blew out.
Solving this problem was pretty easy. It was a combination of production and post.
- I put the camera on my tripod and attached a remote to minimize vibration. These are “should do” and not “must do” steps. Photomatix is very forgiving here with alignment options.
- I set the camera to /22 to get a LONG exposure (smooth water and smooth clouds plus great depth of field).
- I chose Exposure bracketing. I captured seven exposures that showed the full range of the scene.
I then took the image into post. With a quick trip through Photomatix Pro, I merged them together, solved the ghosting issues, and gave a great end result. The image I created is a 16-bit TIFF file that I can open up in Photoshop or Lightroom and apply additional options like Lens Correction or selective adjustments.
Here’s how I did it.
Disclaimer: This is just one way to achieve this kind of shot.
Rich has published over 100 courses on Lynda.com. Rich has authored several books including From Still to Motion, Understanding Photoshop, Professional Web Video, and Creating DSLR Video.