Friday, 27 February 2015

Landscape Photography/ Using Long Exposure Photography Exploring Niagara Falls

Landscape Photography/ Using Long Exposure Photography Exploring

 Niagara Falls

 I was in the Niagara region recently and had the opportunity to do some Landscape Photography and Urban Landscape Photography. I love exploring, so naturally I like this style of photography. Niagara Falls in the winter is a totally different place than in summer at the height of tourist season. All times of year offer some great photography but winter tends to attract less people allowing a photographer to shoot relatively freely from the better vantage points without throngs of tourists and other photographers. And of course the falls look totally different with the ice and snow. Since I was out and about both before sunrise and in the evening I took advantage of lower light to stretch my exposures upwards to 30 seconds. 

During my shooting I did discover some new things and remembered some things forgotten. One was during my night shooting outing. The falls are lit by a multitude of spotlights and I am not sure if its unique to winter with ice and snow but the lights have a very noticeable dark spot at the centre as you can see in the following picture.

My solution in this case was to overexpose slightly and do some major dodging and burning, then convert to Black and White using Nik Silver Efex pro. This view is a rather common and iconic vantage point. 

This photo was taken in the morning before sunrise and was my first exposure of the day. The colours were quite dramatic and warm at this time. 

Another shot, below, was taken in the am a little later than the previous and although the processing was toned to give a different look the light had also changed dramatically. This was a lesson relearned; the winter season doesn't give a long window of opportunity for great light. 

And probably about ten minutes or less later, the dramatic saturated look above, was almost gone replaced by a blue even light below. I chose to include the viewing station in this shot just to do something different and give the shot some foreground interest. I think the inclusion tells more of a story. 

After shooting the falls at night in the first shot, I ventured up the Clifton Hill tourist area and caught the bright lights and a blurred spinning Ferris Wheel using long exposure. I love the dynamic sense of movement captured. As you can see, in the winter, this often busy area is almost deserted with the exception of a few car light trails going through the frame.

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