Douglas Falls

The colors you see in this photograph are a combination of human intervention and natural factors. Acid run-off from old mines in the region are causing the brilliant orange coloration you see in this photograph. While the colors make for a breathtaking photograph, the acid content is harmful to the life in the river, and efforts are underway to clean it up.

While the photograph is eye catching, the composition feels very unbalanced to me. I think it’s heavily weighed to the left. What do you think?

The challenge here was to capture all the details and colors in the photograph. It was easy to overexpose the intense orange colors in the foreground…  so I adjusted the exposure to bring out the details in the rocks. A heavily overcast sky helped me choose a proper exposure, but targeted adjustments in Photoshop were necessary to bring out the details in every part of the image. I used a circular polarizer to reduce the glare in the wet rocks.

6 replies
  1. Jackson Frishman
    Jackson Frishman says:

    Nice shot, Jay! But I see what you mean about the comp. It seems like a 4×5 crop would really help here. As is, that lowest waterfall leads my eye down to the LLC, but with a crop off the left it turns into more of a leading line sending the eye into the image. Such a crop also emphasizes the big boulder on the right and turns it into a more important element. There’s still a bit of an empty spot in the LRC, but overall it seems like an improvement, focusing the eye much more on the luminous orange stones, the big falls and the trees.

  2. Rob
    Rob says:

    Been to this little hideaway numerous times over the years. I love this place, and how it is secluded and most people don’t know it even exists. I have taken groups to this location and they really can’t believe it when they see it. What a great place to visit – no matter what time of year.


  3. Chris
    Chris says:

    I think your work is excellent but since you asked for criticism of this photo here is what I see. The longer I look at it the more I feel a disconnect between the top of the falls in the background and the water flowing over the rocks in the foreground – I feel that I’m missing the story of how the water in the background got to the foreground.


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