Today’s photo comes from the lovely Shiraito Falls in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. I posted several photos from this waterfall several months ago, but I had a lot of work to do on this one before it would be ready for sharing. The main reason it took so much processing is that I didn’t expose for the shot as I should have. Check out the three exposures I used for today’s photo:
As you can see, all of these are way too dark. Even the final photo doesn’t expose nearly enough for the shadows. I wanted to show these photos though because it’s a good lesson on several points, primarily on the importance of getting the exposure right in camera and the value of shooting in RAW, so you can squeeze out all of that juicy digital information when necessary. So how did I take these exposures and create today’s photograph?
It’s a long process, but essentially I tweaked the photos multiple times in Lightroom and then exported those files into Photoshop CC. In Photoshop, I then blended those edits together for different areas using layers, masking, and several other smaller features for detailed edits. The upside is I recovered a basically unusable selection of exposures and made a lovely shot of the waterfall. The downside to this process is that it was both time consuming and ultimately resulted in some loss of detail in the final image. Moral of the story? Correct exposures matter, but don’t trash an image straight away just because it looks bad at first. You might be amazed at what you can do!