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Great Falls & Mather Gorge

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by john1027, May 27, 2010.

  1. john1027

    john1027 Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 5, 2010
    Alexandria, VA USA
    Located in a national park just a few miles upstream from downtown Washington, DC, Great Falls and Mather Gorge force the Potomac River over a series of steep, jagged rocks as it flows through a narrow gorge. The natural roar and sounds of the water provide a welcome change to the often bi-partisan political debates and man-made noise of Washington DC located just a short distance away. The park has managed to stave off the encroachment of modern development and remains in a very natural state as it has for hundreds of years. The river is dangerous in this area and about 7 people drown near here each year mostly due to alcohol related accidents.

    E-PL1 with 20mm & 45-200mm.






    • Like Like x 9
  2. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Dramatic location, great place to explore!

    Thanks for sharing :thumbup:


  3. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    These really are wonderful John, and I appreciate seeing both black and white as well as color. Both versions work really well. The b & w does appear more ominous that's for sure. Scary and very tragic to read about those who've drowned there. Rushing waters...people so often underestimate what's going on beneath that water, I'm sure - and being inebriated only makes it all worse.:frown:

    On a lighter note, it's so amazing that you've got that place not far from DC when one thinks of the urban/suburban sprawl. Great place!!

    Am I correct that you used Aperture for your PPing?
  4. john1027

    john1027 Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 5, 2010
    Alexandria, VA USA
    Thanks BB & Brian, and yes, I do use Aperture 3 for PP.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. rst

    rst Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 25, 2010
    Good work and I think the B&W ones are even stronger than the color ones.

  6. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    That's one impressive river - what a superb wilderness location - and your pictures do a great job of capturing the natural power of it all. :smile:
  7. john1027

    john1027 Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 5, 2010
    Alexandria, VA USA
    rst & Goldenlight, thanks for your kind words. It is hard to believe when you visit the park that just about 8 miles down stream it is the same very docile, calm river that flows by Arlington National Cemetery and the various monuments on its way to the Chesapeake Bay.
  8. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    Very nice set...framing just couldn't be better...a real sense of Being There....
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Maczero

    Maczero Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 13, 2010
    This a great place. We used to to Great Falls a lot when we were posted to Washington DC. It's a particularly impressive when the snows in the hills start melting.

    I love the first B&W picture. Was that OOC?
  10. Boyzo

    Boyzo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 3, 2010
    Excellent you captured the grandeur :smile:
  11. cosinaphile

    cosinaphile Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    new york city
    impressive set , well shot
  12. PeterB666

    PeterB666 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 14, 2010
    Tura Beach, Australia
    You have done really well to get so much out of what is a very overcast day.

    With a spot like that, I would want to return at dawn or dusk.


  13. aznick

    aznick Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 4, 2010
    Arizona USA
    Great shots John, I like the last one the best.
  14. john1027

    john1027 Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 5, 2010
    Alexandria, VA USA
    First, thanks to everyone for your kind and encouraging comments.

    Maczero, everything was jpeg only in color and some PP in Aperture 3. The B&Ws were from A3s pre-sets and then slightly tweaked. I shoot both raw & jpeg but since A3 won't directly handle the E-PL1 Raw images yet, if the jpegs are decent, as they usually are, I just work with them.

    You are right about after the snow and rains. It had rained the night before these shots, and I had the camera with me and was driving by the entrance to the park, had a little time to kill, and decided to stop. In spite of the overcast skies, it was worth it, but PeterB is right, I do need to go back in better light!
  15. Christilou

    Christilou Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 25, 2010
    Camberley, Surrey
    These are lovely natural looking colours. Might I ask what settings you used to get these colors out of camera please? It looks a really scary sort of place and not one I would like to hang out at for too long!
  16. john1027

    john1027 Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 5, 2010
    Alexandria, VA USA
    Hi Christilou,

    I think what made it look a little scary perhaps was just the light that day as it is really a beautiful, friendly national park. We had been going thru a period of thunderstorms overnight and that morning and the sky kept changing from gray and dark to light and almost sunny at points. I think it was the sky that made it look more ominous than it normally is. The water is actually the greenish brown shown at this time of year.

    I just used the jpegs from that day and did very little PP in Aperture 3. I took some in AP, some in shutter priority trying to get different effects from the water, and also let the camera have its way with program mode a few times. I found a combination where the saturation and vibrancy were adjusted up slightly, a little contrast and black point both were added, but mostly I had to adjust the highlight slider about half way as the white water was much too bright originally out of the camera. Once I found a combo that worked, I lifted the adjustments and applied them to all the day's pictures. Overall, it is probably more a testament to the Olympus Pen's in camera processing than anything dramatic on my end.

    I am new to Aperture 3 having used Photo Elements and iPhoto until about 6 months ago and have been trying to get better with PP and A3 thru reading and online material. For that matter, I am relatively new to the m4/3's world and feeling my way along there also. It was divine intervention that I stumbled across this site and the deep talent pool and years of experience that hang out here as I can usually use all the help I can find. Regards. John
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