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Sun Dec 25, 2016, 05:16 PM

Short Hike To A Waterfall (newbie shots) Updated with new pics from 1/15/17

Last edited Mon Jan 16, 2017, 03:17 PM - Edit history (3)

I got a book about hiking waterfalls in TN this past summer. Just now getting around to visiting the first one on the list, Jackson Falls located on the Natchez Trace Parkway.

I'm still new to taking pictures and I don't really know anything about Lightroom or any of that stuff so these are jpg pretty much straight from the camera, a Sony RX100 mk2.

Some are lightened or darkened a bit in the basic photo editing program I view my pictures in. One of them I fooled with the "warmth" slider a bit. I have learned enough to use the full manual mode in some of these and take a long(ish) exposure of the falling water that I think came out pretty good.

[IMG]~original[/IMG]

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May not look like much bout you could hear the falling water from the parking lot. I'd like to come back after we've had a lot of rain.

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The water slides down a steep rocky slope seen in the upper right hand corner.

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I used a $7 tabletop tripod & 2 second shutter delay to hold the camera steady for this one.

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The creek empties into the Duck River about 1/4 mile off in the distance.

[IMG]~original[/IMG]

This was a neat little trip. It's steep coming back up the sidewalk but not too bad. I'm way out of shape and made it up fine.

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Arrow 25 replies Author Time Post
Reply Short Hike To A Waterfall (newbie shots) Updated with new pics from 1/15/17 (Original post)
Skeeter Barnes Dec 2016 OP
TreasonousBastard Dec 2016 #1
rogerashton Dec 2016 #2
alfredo Dec 2016 #4
rogerashton Dec 2016 #8
alfredo Dec 2016 #9
rogerashton Dec 2016 #11
alfredo Dec 2016 #12
rogerashton Dec 2016 #13
alfredo Dec 2016 #14
Skeeter Barnes Dec 2016 #17
alfredo Dec 2016 #19
alfredo Dec 2016 #3
Skeeter Barnes Dec 2016 #7
alfredo Dec 2016 #16
ManiacJoe Dec 2016 #5
Skeeter Barnes Dec 2016 #6
Skeeter Barnes Dec 2016 #10
Act_of_Reparation Dec 2016 #15
Skeeter Barnes Dec 2016 #18
Act_of_Reparation Dec 2016 #20
Skeeter Barnes Dec 2016 #21
alfredo Dec 2016 #22
Act_of_Reparation Dec 2016 #23
Skeeter Barnes Jan 2017 #24
Skeeter Barnes Jan 2017 #25

Response to Skeeter Barnes (Original post)

Sun Dec 25, 2016, 05:50 PM

1. Don't worry about Lightroom or Photoshop yet...

Many of us started out with film and adjusting things with filters and the few camera controls available. Gets you thinking about what's there and how to compose the picture.

Looks like you've got a pretty good eye for the scene. These are pretty good-- work on composition and they'll get great.

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Response to Skeeter Barnes (Original post)

Sun Dec 25, 2016, 06:43 PM

2. Nice stuff

If you can get up northeast sometime, the Delaware Water Gap has some fine waterfall trails. (Last there for our fiftieth wedding anniversary -- a number I still cannot believe.)

On edit -- I recall the instructions from Basic Jones, who wrote a column in Outdoor Photography back in the 80's, when I was shooting with a Pentax K1000 --

His advice was "F-8 and be there."

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Response to rogerashton (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 25, 2016, 10:35 PM

4. Here's your K1000

&feature=youtu.be

I have the Sears KSX1000, pretty much the same thing. Sweet little camera.

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Response to alfredo (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 26, 2016, 11:16 AM

8. Still got it.

Getting film, now --

what I loved about that camera was the hands-on control. And I would give a lot for a good manual focus guide on my Sony.

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Response to rogerashton (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 26, 2016, 02:43 PM

9. The real draw was the Sears 50mm f2 lens.

Adapt the lens to your Sony.

The lens was probably a Ricoh, just like the body.

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Response to alfredo (Reply #9)

Mon Dec 26, 2016, 10:39 PM

11. I'm a fan of zoom lenses.

I had a Takumar zoom lens that I usually used with the Pentax. (Though I shot a few with a 1000-milimeter Celestron).

These days I do most of my shooting with a Sony short zoom.

[link:https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10209678403809535&set=pb.1012886243.-2207520000.1482806306.&type=3&theater|

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Response to rogerashton (Reply #11)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 12:39 AM

12. I have one zoom, the Olympus 40150mm. I rarely use it.

BTW, the link didn't work.

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Response to alfredo (Reply #12)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 08:21 AM

13. Sorry about the link.

I never have figured out how to post pictures here. -- The link was to a Facebook page.

I don't my the big tele much, either -- it wants a tripod and remote release, really -- but now and then! I got an eagle lunching on a fish at about 200 yards. Good picture.

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Response to rogerashton (Reply #13)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 10:52 AM

14. Facebook is not the best place for linking. Check out Photobucket or Flickr

There are other good places to host images, check around.

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Response to alfredo (Reply #14)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 05:52 PM

17. Is Flickr free? Can you upload larger pics there? My pics on Photobucket are tiny. :v(

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Response to Skeeter Barnes (Reply #17)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 06:16 PM

19. Flickr is free up to a specific number of photos or disk space. I got the pro account.

Last edited Thu Dec 29, 2016, 01:11 AM - Edit history (1)

that gives unlimited storage. I upload 1200X900 to the site. They are not displayed at that size, but I can download or link them at the size.

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Response to alfredo (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 26, 2016, 09:15 AM

7. Looks amazing I'd love to go.

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Response to Skeeter Barnes (Reply #7)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 11:38 AM

16. Me too. I'm thinking of revisiting Cove Springs Park in Frankfort Ky.

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Response to Skeeter Barnes (Original post)

Mon Dec 26, 2016, 12:12 AM

5. Nicely done!

You have a good eye for this.
Stepping a little further off the trail might help in a few of the shots, but you are certainly headed in the right direction.

All digital pictures benefit from post processing. If you don't want to put much time into it, you can adjust the camera settings to do some (or all) of it for you. As you learn the software (lots to choose from), you will find that you can easily do better processing than the camera does.

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Response to ManiacJoe (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 26, 2016, 09:14 AM

6. Thanks for the advice. I started messing with free trial version of Lightroom last night.

I used jpeg + raw and made some adjustments to a few of the raw files. Watched a few YouTube vids that helped explain some of the process.

The book I'm reading encourages using manual mode. I prefer that and understand the settings but felt like I was shuffling through menus the whole time. There is a lot left to learn.

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Response to Skeeter Barnes (Original post)

Mon Dec 26, 2016, 07:02 PM

10. Fall Hollow Falls - Natchez Trace Parkway

These were raw files edited in the trial version of Lightroom (have no idea what I'm doing).

The trail from the parking lot takes you over two streams that feed the falls.

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Trail leading to the observation deck

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The trail gets pretty rough from here on down to the bottom. I thought for sure I was going to slide down the hill.

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View of the upper falls from the observation deck

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This the the "trail" past the observation deck. Dang near straight down.

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There are a couple of little waterfalls like this one on the way down to the bottom.

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I made it without breaking any bones! Had a hard time getting any shots I liked down here but this one was the best.

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Roots of the tree in front of the falls

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The very last shot I took on the way out was my favorite of the 100 I took.

[IMG]~original[/IMG]

The walk to the observation deck is easy as walking to your mailbox. If you want to see the lower falls, you have to really want to get down there. I think I learned a few things today and will return after a good hard rain and bring a tripod next time.



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Response to Skeeter Barnes (Reply #10)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 11:03 AM

15. Post-processing can be daunting at first.

But once you figure out what everything does, it'll be like riding a bike. I would start off reading about exposure, white balance, and contrast.

Oh, and you'll almost always want to change your color mode from Adobe Standard to any one of your camera's modes. I use a Nikon and a Sony, and both cameras have better color than Adobe Standard.

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Response to Act_of_Reparation (Reply #15)

Tue Dec 27, 2016, 06:03 PM

18. Color mode is found in Lightroom? I've got a book on Lightroom ordered and

just finished another book, Understanding Exposure.

I still have a hard time figuring out what white balance setting to use outdoors and I forgot to experiment with exposure compensation on this last trip. Couldn't get any good longer exposures at F11 and lowest iso setting. They were all still way too bright.

Wish I could go back down there this afternoon because it poured down rain all night. Too tired to get out after work though.

Thanks for the help.

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Response to Skeeter Barnes (Reply #18)

Wed Dec 28, 2016, 09:58 AM

20. Keep in mind white balance can always be changed later in post.

It's not something you have to be terribly worried about while you're shooting, though it may be a good idea to carry around a white sheet of paper. Shoot a few test shots with the paper in frame and use those shots to properly set your white balance on your final photo.

As for exposure, here's a couple of tips that helped me out when I first started out:

First and foremost, aperture is for depth of field. Yes, closing the lens allows less light to pass through to the sensor, but it changes the aesthetic qualities of your photo. I would not advise getting in the habit of changing your f-stop to lower your exposure. There are other, better ways to do this.

Second, if you're using an SLR, invest in neutral density (ND) filters. These are basically sunglasses for your lens. They will lower the amount of light going to your lens by the specified number of f-stops, allowing you to take pictures in daylight without blowing out your image.

Third, it is easier to correct exposure if the image is underexposed than it is if the image is overexposed. The reason being your sensor takes in a whole lot of information, and your imaging software "decides" what information to show you. In underexposed images, it is showing you less than is actually there, and by cranking up your exposure slider you can reveal otherwise hidden detail (to a point). But you can't as easily crank the slider down to reveal detail you accidentally overexposed. For this reason, I typically shoot for a -1 EV rather than a dead-on correct exposure.

Fourth, time of day is critical. The hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset are often considered the best times to shoot outdoors, as there is less light, and what light you have is made more dynamic (colors & shadow). Personally, I think you can get good shots in the early morning and late afternoon, but it really depends on your subject (see my last point). Whatever the case may be, avoid shooting in the middle of day. There's too much light and too little shadow.

Last, expose your subject and not the background. This probably won't apply if you're shooting landscapes, but it could be invaluable if you're shooting portraits or wildlife. As long as your subject is properly exposed, your background can be dark or blown out. When there is significant contrast between my subject and the background, I turn on spot metering and expose for the subject rather than the whole scene.

To adjust color mode in Lightroom, go into the Develop tab and scroll all the way down to "Camera Calibration". The color profile is set to "Adobe Standard" by default, but you can select one of your camera's profiles from the dropdown menu.

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Response to Act_of_Reparation (Reply #20)

Wed Dec 28, 2016, 07:35 PM

21. Thanks very much for the help! I see what you were saying about the color adjustments.

I figured with the shots I've been taking so far, more depth of field would be desirable so I've tried to use F8/F11 if possible. Still have lots of experimenting to do. Thanks again for the instruction. I really appreciate it!

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Response to Skeeter Barnes (Reply #21)

Thu Dec 29, 2016, 01:12 AM

22. f8 should be sufficient for most shots.

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Response to Skeeter Barnes (Reply #21)

Thu Dec 29, 2016, 01:33 AM

23. Experimentation is key.

One great thing about digital photography is that your images contain metadata. When you're browsing through Lightroom, you can see what camera settings you used on your shots. Play around, review your images, and see what works.

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Response to Skeeter Barnes (Original post)

Sat Jan 7, 2017, 09:34 PM

24. Stillhouse Hollow Falls 1-7-17

The third stop on the list in my waterfall guide is Stillhouse Falls. The weather was very cold today, in the teens while I was there. Really nice hike though. I had to stop and rest quite a bit coming back out but it was well worth the trip.

Top of the trail. This guy was a lot faster getting down there and back up than I was.

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Finally made it to the bottom

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This was my favorite shot



Couple shots of the trail on the way back out







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Response to Skeeter Barnes (Original post)

Mon Jan 16, 2017, 03:16 PM

25. Crockett Falls / Shoal Creek Trail at David Crockett State Park 1-15-17

This was a much longer hike than I've done before, totaling about 3 miles out and back on the route I took. You can drive right up to the falls but I wanted to walk there through the woods along the creek from the campground near the park entrance. Walking that much is very difficult for me so I was in quite a bit of pain and had to rest often. It was still a nice trip through there and I'd recommend it if you like to hike.

The scenery along the creek and in the woods was fantastic and I took a lot of pics on the way but ended up disappointed with my shots. I don't know if it was me or the camera but I thought the full size pics looked too blurry. Not sure if it's me or the camera but I took 3 shot bursts with a 10 second shutter delay to avoid camera shake/blur as much as possible and they looked poorly focused to me. I used auto focus and various apertures from wide open down to F/11, the smallest my camera will do. Image stabilization was turned off as Sony recommends when using a tripod. The $20 Amazon Basics tripod seemed plenty stable and there was no wind at all. Maybe I expect too much.

Typical view of the first third or so of the trail. It gets more steep at times from here on in.

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I veered off the trail and ended up on what was apparently part of the Trail of Tears where I came across this plaque.

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Around these falls is where David Crockett (he never went by "Davy" lived for a time. He left the area for west TN after the creek flooded in 1821. During the 10 second shutter delay, the kid on the left walked out into the frame. He is a little blurry due to the shutter speed but I liked having him in there better anyway. He walked all the way across and it looked very slippery. He is already into his balancing act.

[IMG]~original[/IMG]

Crockett Falls is obviously a modest waterfall but definitely worth stopping by if you are in the area. The area is beautiful countryside even in the winter and the park looked very well kept by the state. Lots of families were out enjoying the warm weather that day. The trailhead I started from was not marked. You have to look around for it at campground 1 but it is a nice trail if you can find it.

Before starting on the trail back out, I was sitting at an observation deck high above the falls and a woman asked me if I was a photographer. Far from it!

I guess the tripod made me look like a pro even if the photos don't!

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