This is a photograph of the the River Windrush taken at Minster Lovell in Oxfordshire – a mostly bright day, with clouds for extra interest!
While not a waterfall (I don’t know of any nearby), the river is quite turbulent, so lends itself to a long exposure as I did here – I took several shots with varying shutter speeds – this was the one I liked most – converting to black and white added lots of atmosphere.
As a bonus this time around, here are the steps that I took with this photograph from a not-so-special starting point through to the finished image you see above.
1. This is the photograph, as taken – it’s not straight (doh!), but that will be corrected shortly – it’s exposed OK for the sky, but a little underexposed for the river – again, this can be fixed – finally, I had a UV filter, polariser and a variable ND10 filter on the lens, this can be seen with the artefacts in the corners – we’ll crop to deal with those.
2. Here I have made the initial adjustments in Lightroom 5 – On the basic panel, the changes are: Highlights down to -100, Shadows up to +100, then adjust Black and White levels (using Alt key to set clipping level) – on the Calibration panel, switch on the Correct distortion and Remove Chromatic Aberation options. I have a preset that I use for this (apart from the subjective Black and White levels) supplied by Serge Ramelli (recommended – he sells tutorials, but cut down versions are also available on YouTube). Finally, I applied the Camera Calibration for Nikon Landscape.
3. Straightened the photograph – which has, coincidently, helped a bit with the vignette from the filters too
4. Not so obvious in these smaller images, but I had to remove a few dust marks from the photograph – they became more apparent after the previous corrections had been applied – to cut a long story short, the ND filter was not as clean as it should have been – the angle of the sun made them stand out more – the clone/heal tool in Lightroom tidied these up nicely.
5. With the brush tool, lifting the exposure a little on the bridge to make it stand out more – and reducing the exposure a little on the flowing water.
6. Cropping to 1920×1080 – this removes the vignette all together and (to me) gives it a more pleasing aspect ratio.
7. Finally added sharpening to hard edges to improve the detail.
8. Then transferred the image as a virtual copy over to Nik Software Silver Efex Pro to convert to Black and White – I boosted the contrast a little to make it a little more ‘gritty’, used a green filter (makes the greens blacker in the image) and gave it a sepia tone.
Once back in Lightroom, I added a subtle vignette to draw the eye more to the bridge.
Nikon D80; 10s;f/22@18mm (18-70mm; f/3.5-4.5; Nikkor stock lens); ISO400 – ND1-10 filter Tripod– Post processing in LR5 and Silver Efex Pro
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