Surreal vs real
August 6th, 2014
What is your decision on this shot, Is it real or not?
I decided to do this post cause I was accused of applying photo manipulation to it on some social network, and I'm not saying for any meaning that photo manipulation is not allowed, a lot of people do it and a lot of them make a living out of it, I do as well sometimes, "rarely I do it, but I do it, but when I do it" I either say it in my description or post the picture in its respective category for example if I post a picture on 500px and I have done some sort of manipulation to it, I post it in the fine art category and also say what I did on my description, that way I don't feel like I am fooling anyone.
Let me tell you the story behind this shot, This waterfall is called triple falls and this one on the frame is only the bottom part of the three, they are three and they are next to each other that's why they are called triple falls, they are located in the DuPont State Forest, southeast of Brevard, North Carolina. I've been here a few times and I have noticed these little ponds with great reflection beside the waterfalls, so this time when I got there it was the perfect day for this, it was overcast and no wind whatsoever that could mess my reflection shot, it was crowded, but if you have a little patience that's not gonna mess your shot either. So I started composing my shot and had everything set, I had my composition locked just waiting for the right moment without folks walking around it being the main concern here; I was laying on the ground very low with my camera sitting on wood sticks when all of a sudden these crazy boys showed up in my viewfinder I was shocked for three or five seconds, I've been waiting for like two hours to be clear of people and then this. After five seconds I calmed down a little and thought "wait a minute, this is gonna be my shot" so what was being my concern (people) in matters of seconds became my main subject, there was just a little thing, I had to mess with my camera settings again for just one reason I had my camera ready to go with long exposures values and that's not gonna help me here, I was worried of not getting the guys sharp and clear I was also worried of the water effect that I like to give to my waterfalls shots so I quickly visited my settings and set my camera to something that could give a little of the silky water effect and at the same time getting the boys not so blurry because blurriness happens as result of using slow shutter speed on moving subjects like people so 1/13 of a second did it for this shot here, the water could be much more silky like I said, but the water is not the main subject anymore I think.
So this image is 100% real, I could use a different image with the silky water effect over mentioned before and blend it with one of the guys sharp and clear and it will maybe look better or it would maybe look surreal.
This is what would happen if I use slow shutter speed, I would get silky water effect with sense of movement to it, but blurry guys.
In this picture you can appreciate the little pond, how still and calm the water is and why, because the water that is in the pond doesn't come from the big waterfall stream, it comes slowly from the sides.
This one shot kind of show you where I took the shot from, I was very low laying on my belly on a very uncomfortable angled down position in front of the little pond with my camera sitting on little wood sticks and rocks for stabilization and compositing because the shot is taken so close to the water that my camera is almost touching the water so my tripod was useless here, there is also more people climbing.
You can have a better sense of the whole scenery here. There are two additional waterfalls to the top-left of this image that you can not appreciate from this view. click Here to see an image of the two top waterfalls.