December 29th, 2011: Edge of Snoqualmie Falls

This is another panorama from my last visit to Snoqualmie Falls back in October. You can see the previously posted image here. One of the more dramatic views of this 285 ft waterfall at the river’s edge from just downstream will be inaccessible until 2013 as the hiking trail and river access are closed due to a construction project in progress at the falls. The image is composed of 6 vertical frames of 3 bracketed exposures stitched together using Photoshop CS5.

Snoqualmie, Washington

Sony NEX 5N, 18-55mm/f4.5-5.6

30 exposures (5x 6)  frames HDR,  Photomatix, Lightroom 3, Photoshop CS5,  Topaz Adjust 5.

To see a larger version please click on the image.

Feel free to comment below if you like what you see or have any other observations.

Thanks for stopping by,



6 thoughts on “December 29th, 2011: Edge of Snoqualmie Falls

  1. very nice hdr with the nex-5n. i’m hoping to get the nex-5n myself but i thought it could only take 3 different exposures for hdr photography? you say 18 (18 exposures (x 3)). would you mind explaining please. thanks.

    • Thanks Kevin,
      That image was composed of 6 frames of 3 HDR images. You can take more than 3 on the NEX 5N by setting the exposure compensation up or down if you are on a tripod. You are limited to 3 AEB at 0.7+/- which is really a shortfall of this great little camera. Hopefully they can fix this with a firmware update to allow a greater AEB range.

      • Thanks for your reply Jay. I want to get the Nex-5N and I want to do HDR with it – your images have inspired me. I was unconvinced with the Nex-5N for HDR because of the limited AEB capabilities (0.7+/- as you said). Would you mind elaborating more on your HDR workflow with your Nex-5N please, without giving away any of your trade secrets!!

        6 frames of 3 HDR images?? Are you using 18 images of different exposures? To do proper HDR on the Nex-5N I thought you had to set the exposure compensation manually. Because this is done on the touch screen (as opposed to a resistive exposure dial) then that would significantly reduce camera shake which can be a problem even on a tripod. But how long would it take you to do this manually for 18 shots??? If it is 18 shots. I would have thought it would even take too long for 3 shots, especially if there is water in the scene. You seem to have captured water in your scene without blurring the water from its movement, particularly with Fall on The Snoqualmie, Seattle Cityscape and Elliott Bay Landing and to a lesser extent Beach Combing. I would also have thought that just pressing the shutter button fully, even on a tripod, would cause camera shake.

        If you can shed some light on this Jay, pardon the pun, I would be hugely grateful. As it stands I’ve kind of decided to sacrafice the brilliant image quality of the Nex-5N and go for the Panasonic Lumix G3 because of the G3’s AEB functions.

        Thanks again Jay and please keep posting your wonderful images.


      • Thanks so much for the kind words Kevin. On the workflow with the NEX, if I’m shooting a panorama I’ll use manual mode to set the exposure for a particular part of the scene to keep the settings consistent across varying lighting conditions. For this Snoqalmie Falls panorama I actually used 30 exposures instead of 18(5 frames of 6 exposures). The brackets were all taken with the 0.7 AEB function for exposure on the fall and the trees, but I set the exposure compensation to -1.5 to capture the sky. I then tonemapped 6 images in Photomatix for each of the five frames, stitched them in CS5 and then used curves adjustments and a few final touches for tonal contrast in Topaz.
        The water movement is blurred as visible in the falls. The water in the river is also blurred but perhaps not quite as apparent. Shutter speeds on the lower portions of the scene were 1.3 sec, 1/13th and 1/5th. If desired, you could freeze the movement of the water prior to tonemapping with Photomatix’s Reduce Ghosting Artifacts option, but I didn’t use that on this image. I’m usually shooting hand-held with the NEX and the frame rate is pretty fast so if there is ample light camera shake is not too much of an issue. Also, Photomatix does a decent job of aligning the images. A couple other things to consider for the NEX over the Lumix are the larger sensor size and the huge range of lens options. Hope this helps.

  2. Thanks for taking the time to explain Jay. That’s quite a bit of post processing work but the results are worth it. I actually want to do the post processing myself anyway so this suits me fine. Thanks again.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: