Niagara in the Rain

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by Robert Watcher, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. Robert Watcher

    Robert Watcher Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Niagara in the Rain - Olympus E-PL1 w/ kit lens

    Anne and I are in Niagara Falls for a few days - and this evening with the rain and extreme fog - - - I decided to walk down to the falls and grab a few shots taken with my Olympus E-PL1 and 14-42 kit lens.

    I used bracketed exposures to combine together - in order to not only hold detail in as much of the image as possible - but also to allow for an image that shows virtually no noise in the normally underexposed shadow areas.

    My settings were > Manual Focus > Aperture Priority Exposure at f7.3 (changing exposure compensation between shots - mostly -3, -2, -1, 0, +1 compensation) > 100 ISO. For firing on my tripod, I set the camera to the 2 second shutter release. Anne held an umbrella over my setup to keep as much rain off as possible - although heavy sweeping mist was another issue for my gear and lens surface.

    I shot with both RAW and SHQ JPG - but with my limited abilities on my Macbook, I had to use Photoshop CS3 to handle the Jpegs (it can't handle E-PL1 RAW files) - - - at least until I get home. Except for some experimenting years ago, I haven't done this type of shooting before. But it was pretty rewarding for the 4 or 5 shots that I took the time to capture here between 9:00PM and 10:00PM. Fortunately, it wasn't severly cold out.

    1 ) Shot using Tungsten WB setting for enhanced blue effect -American Falls at the end of the street, in the background

    2 )

    3 )

    • Like Like x 11
  2. Robert Watcher

    Robert Watcher Mu-43 Top Veteran

    The other 2 Multi Exposure shots that I took (the Horseshoe Falls could not be seen as a result of the rain and mist). The 3'rd shot is a nice BackShot that a friend of ours took of Anne and me and my setup:

    4 ) The Skylon Tower was not visible with the fog - but once in a while we'd see a Flying Saucer in amongst the trees

    5 ) From our Balcony

    6 ) Working - steady does it

    • Like Like x 1
  3. RetroBoy

    RetroBoy Mu-43 Regular

    Fantastic! Love the No. 2 shot of the Falls.

    And No. 1 - well rewarded for the effort of bracketing and combining exposures.
    Very natural looking and clean.
  4. gsciorio

    gsciorio Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 29, 2011
    Miami, FL
    Very cool and I like the stillness of the images. It's reminiscent of a horror film.
  5. Hyubie

    Hyubie Unique like everyone else

    Oct 15, 2010
    Real Name:
    Wonderful images, fantastic colors - that E-PL1 really does pack some serious punch, even with its "age". Had one, miss it.
  6. edmsnap

    edmsnap Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 20, 2011
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Shot #2 is stunning. I don't think that could have been taken any better.
  7. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    These are all fantastic. Really well done.
  8. elandel

    elandel Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 16, 2010
    Milan, Italy
    Nice pics. I also had an Epl1 and sold it. I'm thinking of picking up another one.
  9. keggs1292

    keggs1292 New to Mu-43

    Jan 17, 2012
    I'm looking to sell one purchased jan3rd 2012 I can't afford. I'm in college and it's too much and I'm past return for refund. I have the 14-42mm oly and 40-150mm oly plus a 3yr extended warranty to cover it against anything I'm tryin to sell for $550. Looks like it just came out the box. Used 5 times at most
  10. keggs1292

    keggs1292 New to Mu-43

    Jan 17, 2012
    Hey I'm selling mine as a package for $550. I'm a college kid who can't afford his purchase. I have the 14-42mm oly and the 40-150mm oly plus a 3year extended warranty on it which protects it against anything. If ur interested let me know. Looks like I just took it out the box. Used maybe 3 times.
  11. Robert Watcher

    Robert Watcher Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Yeah - the mood is really different when you get out in the rain and fog to do some shooting. Some of my favourite images over the years, are ones that I took when I didn't want to go out into the elements - but forced myself to.

    Something too, that is always cool when you shoot such long exposures - is that people were passing in front of my lens (particularly in shot #3 and #1) and cars were streaking past me from time to time - - - and yet none of that shows, except for a little bit of car light coloring here and there.

    I also really loved the look from using Tungsten White Balance setting on the shot #1 with it's dark black streets. The blues were really cool looking and give a look like you'd see in a movie film night setting - even moreso because they always seem to wet the streets down in the movies. For the shots of and around the falls, I use Tungsten 2 setting for that coloring.

    Thanks all for your comments.

  12. emptysensor

    emptysensor Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 8, 2011
    Real Name:
    Those are all fantastic. The one of the falls is my favorite.
  13. AverageCanadian

    AverageCanadian Mu-43 Regular

    May 22, 2010
    Hi Robert, great shots. How long are you down on vacation for? Any plans for tonight. haha. I'm from the Falls and thinking of heading up to Beamer Park in Grimsby for some long exposures at night.

    Unfortunately it has been rather cloudy for the last few weeks at night so star shots might not be possible but there are a few other things to capture.

    It is about 40 minutes from your current location
    Google Maps

    If you or anybody else is interested in going, shoot me a message. I can fit 3 other people in my car, or borrow the in-laws van if needed.

    Hope you are enjoying your trip.

    Other neat places to shoot are the bird aviary(not too expense $12 a person I think), the gorge(may be too icy for that though), and shooting the falls from the American side at their national park. Beautiful park. The U.S. also has a few lookout posts that can you a nice view of the Canadian Falls and hotels in the background.
  14. Robert Watcher

    Robert Watcher Mu-43 Top Veteran

    I'm afraid my time is over at the falls - Anne and I headed home late last night (Friday). 8 to 10 years ago, my 2 daughters lived in St. Catharines and worked in Niagaara Falls - - - so I used to use every opportunity to head to all those locations around the area, whenever we visited. I generally shoot a couple of weddings a year in Niagara-on-the-Lake. I love the area for sure.

    Thank you for your offer. Hopefully someone else on the forum is able to take you up on it. :smile:
  15. Robert Watcher

    Robert Watcher Mu-43 Top Veteran

    The reason that we were in the Falls this week, was for my brothers 25'th wedding anniversary. His wife got a great package at the Holiday Inn and asked my wife and I (I shot their wedding) as well his "best man" along with his wife - to spend the time with them in celebration.

    The 4 of us got to the hotel ahead of my brother and got access to their room. Hiding in the bathtub with the curtain closed - this was Tim's surprise when finding us:


    Wednesday evening we had a great supper in the revolving Skylon tower. On the walk over, I decided to lay flat on my back on the cold concrete and grab this shot of everyone with the tower in behind - Olympus E-PL1 - f3.4@1/15'th - 1600 ISO:

    After supper, we headed up to the observation deck where I stuck my camera through the protective fencing, and gripped the wire on each side for stabilization. I absolutely love this shot that keeps the Horseshoe Falls as secondary and shows the lines and colors of Niagara Falls - Olympus E-PL1 - f3.5@1/8'th - 1600 ISO

    On Thursday, we headed over to the American side to do some shopping in a Mall. On the way back we stopped at Goat Island and walked around a bit. It is was pretty tough weather and not really too apealing or great access - but my wife and I had never been on that side before - - - so it was cool. Have to head back sometime in prime time. We were there at midday and so I shot at high 1600 ISO to create mood being I didn't have lighting:

  16. Robert Watcher

    Robert Watcher Mu-43 Top Veteran

    I have had a few contacting me about the last shot of the American Falls from Goat Island - stating that it is too noisy for them - - - and I got the feeling they are relating my mention of shooting at 1600 ISO to set the mood, to the "noise" they are seeing - as being a result of camera noise from such high ISO settings . . .

    . . . The look including what seems like too much noise, of course was a creative choice that I made when I decided to create a nostalgic feel of a kind of boring scene. I prefer that look and it prints wonderfully - but it certainly could be processed with less grain to suit other tastes for sure. The technique of toning, burning, dodging and adding film type grain - are all added post in Photoshop (just so no one thinks it's a result of a noisy sensor :) ).

    Just for interests sake : Here is the shot out of camera (OOC) before processing. I made sure I maintained detail in highlights by slight underexposure, so I had content to work with. I used the 1600 ISO setting instead of say 200 ISO or 400 ISO, to give a less crisp look with drab shadows - that I could build on in post processing.


    Exposure f11 @ 1/1000'th sec, 1600 ISO

  17. f6cvalkyrie

    f6cvalkyrie Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 12, 2010
    Brussels, Belgium
    Very nice, Robert !

    My wife refuses to go for a walk with me when it's raining. I have not tried asking her to hold up the umbrella, but I think I can hear the lawyers already :biggrin::biggrin:

    C U,
  18. Robert Watcher

    Robert Watcher Mu-43 Top Veteran


    . . . while I am on the subject of comparing files Straight Out Of The Camera - I thought that I would do something that I seldom do, and that is let you in on the look of the above images for comparison - as they were captured.

    I selected the middle most balanced of the 5 or 6 exposures that I took of each setting. Nothing has been done to the files at all - other than resize for web - - - no cropping, no tweaking.

    I think that it is obvious, that I got most of what I wanted in camera - and that any processing that I did using the HDR combine and additional masking and adjustments - - - was only to enhance the look that was already there.

    I would love to hear your comments on the processing or the difference that you see in the SOOC camera files:

    1 )

    2 )

    3 )
  19. Robert Watcher

    Robert Watcher Mu-43 Top Veteran

    4 )

    5 )

    Skylon View - a big change in this one was my changing the Vertical Tilt so that the Casino on right side, does not tilt