Niagara Falls – Misty Sunrise (Canada)

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This is one of my older photos I took when I was still shooting with Canon. I stumbled upon it by accident while cleaning my Lightroom archives.

I took it one summer morning while visiting Niagara Falls. The famous falls are about 650km from Montreal where I live, and it always makes a nice 2-3 day driving trip. The Niagara Falls are magnificent, but the surrounding area is extremely uninspiring, to put it mildly, with Buffalo on the USA side and town of Nagra Falls on the Canadian side which is a pure definition of “tourist trap.”

The morning I took the featured photo, I was standing next to the Horseshoe Falls, the biggest and most famous part of the Niagra Falls. I was shooting towards the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls through the mist generated by the power of falling water of the big falls.

On the horizon, you can see the Rainbow Bridge which connects Canada and the USA. If you stand in the middle of the bridge you can have one leg on the USA side and another on the Canadian side.

Canada. Ontario
Loc: 43.079780, -79.078391


It was not easy to take even one shot without water getting on the front element of the lens. I had to wipe it every 30sec or so. At the end, about 50% of all my shots were ruined by water from the mist.

  • Camera: Canon 60D
  • Lens: Sigma 10-20mm
  • Focal Length: 10mm
  • Shooting Mode: Aperture Priority (A)
  • ISO: 100
  • Aperture: F9
  • Shutter Speed: 1/15s
  • Bracketing: 3 (-1, 0, 1)
  • Tripod: FEISOL Tournament CT-3442

Editing & Processing

It was a Lightroom based HDR workflow.

Lightroom (90%)

First, I needed to fix the vertical perspective. I was shooting from above and as the result, I had a very strong case of perspective distortion. I used the Transform Panel to fix it. 

I used the Crop Overlay tool to crop out the edge of the canyon from the bottom left corner. I also made the composition tighter by reducing the impact of the empty sky.

I used the process I outlined in the article: How to Straighten a Photo in Lightroom.

Next, I used the Natural preset from my Landscape Preset Collection as the base for Lightroom Rapid Editing. Then I used TOOLKIT to boost the Contrast and the Clarity.

The Lightroom Preset Editing Formula: Point Lobos (10, 13, 17, 31)

Photoshop (10%)

In Photoshop all I had to do was to boost the details and reduced the noise.
Plugins: DeNoise (noise reduction), Topaz Detail (local contrast boost).

Total Time: 10min

Before & After Transformation