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Garden of Stone

Posted by
Darkelf Photography (Perth, Australia) on 20 April 2022 in Landscape & Rural and Portfolio.

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Recently I posted a photo of cascades on the Frankland River near Walpole in Western Australia. This is a second image from the same area, just a little bit further upstream. This is the section of the river leading up to the cascades. This spot somewhat more rugged than the lush surroundings around the cascades, with interesting jagged cliffs and rocks. It felt like being in a kind of garden of stone.

The light was a bit duller when I was taking this photo, compared to the previous one, which made the scene very subdued in terms of colour and vibrancy. That suited me just fine as I thought that it fitted the scene very well. It also allowed me to to get consistent exposures without worrying about blowing out the highlights. The sun did sneakily peek through every now and again so I just had to wait these moments out before taking another frame.

This was an example of a stream which was perfect for a longer exposure in my vision. The water started to look really beautiful once it was mellowed down and the streaks became very smooth, almost like a result of a gentle brush stroke. I did not go for exposures longer than 30 seconds. I think any longer and I would start to lose that lovely texture in the water. It also gave the clouds just enough of an ethereal feel and I liked their streaky texture as well. There was no need for exposure blending this time and I was able to photograph the scene in a single frame.

In post processing, I worked to enhance the contrast and depth in the scene. I did a fair amount of dodging and burning, especially in the bush on the other side of the river. I wanted to give it more dimension and also to intensify the vibrance of the foliage just a smidgeon to make it stand out from the rocks. The scene had a strange kind of uniformity in both colour tone and luminosity so my main aim was to amplify the separation between all its elements. It had to be subtle through, as the barren, muted atmosphere was something that I liked a lot about this moment and I wanted to keep that vision and perception in the final image.

We found this spot on the Frankland River a year earlier and I knew right away that we had to return there again very soon. Other than the wildflower explorations further north and inland from Perth, that was the area which made the biggest impression on me as I did not expect to find anything like this in a part of our state which I thought I knew reasonably well. It just shows one that there are many more places still waiting to be discovered even just outside our doorstep.

Canon EOS R5 30 seconds F/8.0 ISO 100 15 mm

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Landscape & rural by Maryse