Niagara Falls Sunrise Explosion (Canada)

The Niagara Falls can be extremely crowded in the summertime. Sometimes it is difficult to find the spot to take a picture without strangers walking into the frame. It is especially bad around sunset hours.

The only time when you absolutely can have a place for yourself with the total freedom to set up a tripod anywhere you want is when all tourists are sleeping; the sunrise hours.

I took the featured photo at 5am and at that time I had only 2 other photographers around taking pictures and enjoying the freedom.

Canada. Ontario. Niagara Falls.
Loc: 43.09094, -79.06899

Shooting & Processing

I took 3 bracketed shots on a tripod (-1, 0, +1). Even though I was shooting directly into the sun, the light was not too extreme because the sun was partly shielded by the clouds and the water dust.

I used the combination of Lightroom Preset Based editing and Luminosity Blending techniques.

First I applied Lightroom preset Warm Day from my new collection called Cross Processed to all 3 bracketd photos and later used luminosity masks blending in Photoshop (for more details check my Review: “The Art of Digital Blending”).

Deconstructing Featured Photo

Camera: Canon 60D
Lens:  Sigma 10-20mm
Focal Length: 10mm
ISO: 100
Aperture: F8
Bracketing: 3 shots (-1, 0, +1 )
Tripod: FEISOL Tournament CT-3442  – Check my FEISOL Tournament CT-3442 Review.
Ballhead: FEISOL CB-40D

Processing:

Lightroom: import, tagging, preset based processing (Warm Day preset from Cross Processed Collection)
Photoshop: I opened 3 bracketed photos directly in Photoshop and placed each image on a separate layer. Then, I used luminosity masking techniques to blend everything together.

Photoshop Plugins: 

  • Topaz DeNoise was used to reduce digital noise (sky, water).
  • Topaz Clarity was used to enhance details and boost colors (bridge).
Archiving: I save all my photos as JPEG (quality: 100%) at full resolution and with the help of the Lightroom plugin, I synchronized them with my portfolio on SmugMug for safekeeping, sharing, image hosting and online sales.

Do not forget that my FREE Lightroom Preset Collection is always free for all subscribers to my newsletter.
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