Cascade Falls, Yosemite National Park

When I posted the images from Cascade Creek the other day, I noted that I wasn’t really happy with the result of Composition 3, but couldn’t really define why. A friend of mine looked at it and suggested darkening and desaturating the greens, and I thought that was a smart idea, so I took a whack at it.

They were right. I ended up desaturating and darkening the greens and removing most of the yellow out of the trees. I also decided to enhance the saturation of the rocks and warming them up a bit so they stood out a bit more, and then worked to reduce the what I felt was too much intense white in the water itself, causing it to be unbalanced from the rest of the image. Warming the image helped — the water in the first take is too bluish, in retrospect — but I also used a radiant fill with a luminance mask to cut the exposure of the whites a bit.

I also realized on a fresh look that I’d cropped it wrong and shoved the top of the waterfall too close to the top of the frame, making things look cramped and uncomfortable. I had the ability to recrop that and I think that helps balance the composition a lot more.

I’m really liking this version of the image a lot better. I feel the trees are no longer fighting for ownership of the eye in the frame, and the recrop balances the frame better. Warming the image and toning down the water a bit moves the image to me from feeling stark to a more inviting and pleasant image overall.

So now, thanks to a second look, I quite like this image as well.

What do you think?

Cascade Falls, Yosemite National Park

Of course, I also went black and white on this, as I’m trying to make this a more regular habit of mine, and I quite like this as well. Which do I prefer? I’m wavering, but I find myself leaning towards the monochrome again.

Cascade Falls, Yosemite National Park