Lightroom shadow adjustments.

Svartifoss Waterfall Iceland – Panorama Photography

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Svartifoss Waterfall


Skaftafell National Park, East Iceland

This panorama photo was taken in January on my Winter photo workshop. We sacrificed a sunrise shoot to get an early start on the 2km hike up to the waterfall at the Skaftafell National Park. After an hour drive and about 1 hour hike with short photo stops on the way up, we got to the waterfall just as the Winter light started to hit the face.

In mid-winter, there is always a chance that the horse-shoe gorge will be filled with icicles. Below the waterfall the collection of ice and snow develops into an Ice Cone.

The trail passes a couple of waterfalls that are part of the same river. We walk through Iceland’s second largest birch forest and there is thick snow and ice underfoot. Our microspikes make light work of the trail. At the end of the trail there is a huge metal viewing platform from which this photo was taken.

Totally Manual

To get the best panorama results, it is best to turn all your settings to manual. In manual mode, I compose the brightest frame (in this case it was the long white icicles) and use reasonable settings to get a safe exposure. By safe, I mean no clipping of highlights (or shadows). As I shot this hand-held, I chose a reasonably fast shutter. 1/200 sec was easily fast enough for 50mm hand-held. I started on the left and included about 30% overlap in each frame. My Carl Zeiss 50mm prime is an ideal panorama lens because there is no distortion and yet it is wide enough to make a reasonable panorama of the scene. Manual focus should also be used. The Zeiss 50mm prime is manual focus and I kept the focal point the same throughout the sequence.

LENS Carl Zeiss Planar T* 50mm f/1.4 ZE
ISO 100
FOCAL LENGTH 50.0 mm (48.5 mm in 35mm)
EXPOSURE TIME 0.005s (1/200)
Select photos for panorama  in lightroom library
The individual frames are selected in Adobe Lightroom. Sometimes I will give them a colour label, so the frames are easy to spot if I want to re-do the panorama.
Create a panorama photo merge in Lightroom.
To create a panorama in Adobe Lightroom, select the individual frames, then go to the photo menu and select Merge>Panorama.
Panorama preview in Lightroom
A preview appears where you can control the final appearance by selecting different projections and adjusting the boundary warp.
Lightroom shadow adjustments.
Final adjustments include a boost in the shadows so that the big shadow bottom right is not so hard. Then a touch of clarity to make the icicles stand out.
From lines come proportions
Svartifoss lines

After learning the importance of lines in Telephoto Landscape photography, something obvious occurred to me. From those lines come proportions.