Mark Guinn's picture

Looking Glass Falls

We had the opportunity to go explore Looking Glass Falls in the Pisgah National Forest yesterday. It's a beautiful 60' waterfall located at the bottom of a canyon just outside Hendersonville, NC.

I'm unsure of my work on this one for a couple reasons:
1) I'd love to get a straight on shot of the falls, but this is the only angle I could get that didn't have 50 goofy tourists playing in the water; and
2) Being so far down in the canyon, the light wasn't the best (really shady/cool), and standing in the middle of the river (about 3' deep with stronger current) meant nowhere to set up a tripod for longer exposure.

I'd greatly appreciate some CC on this one. What can I do to make this image better? What would you change/fix?

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Anonymous's picture

The photo is very confusing. Bright foreground and left side of image stops me from looking at the falls.
Lighting is a definite problem accross the whole image there appears to be no constant source.
Dark areas are very dark as well
Start there and then resubmit

Mark Guinn's picture

Thanks for the guidance, Nigel! The natural light coming into this canyon was a real pain... The sun was just behind my left shoulder, but tree and rock cover created some weird shadows.

I've tried to follow your advice to adjust some of the lighting on the left side and even things out a bit. Am I getting closer?

David Wo's picture

I’m familiar with the location and when i was there I decided to shoot a long exposure at night in order to avoid tourists. Picking harder to get to waterfalls in the area doesn’t always guarantee people free photos either. I’d say just going first thing in the morning or right after blue hour will fix the lighting and composition limitations.

David Wo's picture

If you go further down you can shoot more telephoto and compress the composition a bit more.

Mark Guinn's picture

That's a great view of the falls! This was our first visit to Looking Glass, but I'm sure I'll be back soon. I'll have to try moving downstream next time... This time, though, the river was packed with people.

David Wo's picture

Pisgah has definitely gotten busier and busier. Depending on water levels you might be able to lock in your tripod and just take lots of photos so you can selectively erase the people.

Maximilian Sulzer's picture

I’m not familiar with the location or your flexibility to re-visit. But if you go again maybe scout around more and definitely try to use a tripod. Your image looks a bit shaky to me, also the waterfall implies your exposure was quite long for a handheld shot.

Maybe you can find a composition of you get on the rock on the left or the little cliff on the right ?

Its a great spot for sure. I want to go back to get a better shot