Critique Blackwater Falls & Elakala Waterfall

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The amber color in these West Virginia waterfalls is produced by the tannins in the water.

Photo #1 - Blackwater Falls
Mike 2020-09-04--0319-S.jpg
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Photo #2 - detail from Blackwater Falls
Mike 2020-09-04--0337-S.jpg
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Photo #3 -- Elakala Waterfall -- VERSION 1
Mike 2020-09-04--0357-S.jpg
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Photo #3 -- Elakala Waterfall -- VERSION 2
(glare removed from leaves at right side of frame)
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Photo #4 -- detail fom Elakala Waterfall
Mike 2020-09-04--0368-S.jpg
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Butlerkid

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Thanks for sharing these with us! #1 gives us such a wonderful view of the falls and surrounding area. Good decision to avoid getting the sky in the image. I would either clone or crop the wee bit of sky remaining.

#3 is probably my favorite image of the set. I like the composition, the person in the foreground and that bright blue shirt to add scale, contrast and interest! I do find the reflections on the leaves along the right edge to be distracting. Don't know if a polarizer could have tamed the reflections. Some selective cloning and/or dodging could mitigate their impact on the overall image.
 
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I would either clone or crop the wee bit of sky remaining.
Great idea! Thanks!

#3 is probably my favorite image of the set. I like the composition, the person in the foreground and that bright blue shirt to add scale, contrast and interest! I do find the reflections on the leaves along the right edge to be distracting. Don't know if a polarizer could have tamed the reflections.
I used a polarizer but a polarizer only affects one plane. The position of the polarizer eliminated most of the glare and all of it in the main area of the image. I could have taken a second photo with the polarizer positioned to eliminate the glare in the leaves on the right side and then merged the two images. Unfortunately, I've never done that and didn't think of doing it until just now. I can use some selective adjustments to tone down if not completely eliminate the glare. I'll do that now that I have fresh eyes on the image. Doing so would be worth the effort especially because it is also my favorite image.
 
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The second version of Photo #3 has been added to the first post. The glare on the leaves at the right edge of the frame has been eliminated as suggested by Karen. I dislike glare because it disguises color, texture and shape, so I'm surprised I was willing to accept it when I initially post-processed the image.
 
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Thanks, John!

Are those are really tannins and not runoff from all the rain?
From the park's website: "...the amber waters of Blackwater Falls, a 57-foot cascade tinted by the tannic acid of fallen hemlock and red spruce needles." My wife and I hiked for three days and never saw any clay, so I think the amber color comes entirely from the tannins. By the way, the amber color was so strong that I actually slightly desaturated some of it just to make it believable.
 
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I like them all, Mike, but especially #1 and #3. How did you go about removing the leaf glare?

I believe you have repeated a trip my wife and I did a few years ago. All the scenes are familiar.
 
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Thanks, Jim!

How did you go about removing the leaf glare?
Using Adobe Camera Raw's Brush tool set to reduced Exposure, increased Contrast and reduced Highlights. I worked at 100% and often used different Flow settings to control the amount being applied. The results probably could have been accomplished using any software that has a Brush tool or Control points.

I believe you have repeated a trip my wife and I did a few years ago.
We rented a home in Upper Tract, WV, which is about 30 minutes away from Petersburg, and took day trips to Seneca Rocks, Dolly Sods, Smoke Hole and Blackwater Falls State Park.
 
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I am very glad Mike posted these. It has caused me to go back through my archives to find the photos I took on our trip to that area. It was in late May of 2013. I find that I never got around to processing any of the pictures...they are all NEFs. So I may have an interesting evening ahead.
 
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