Great Falls Park is one of the U.S. National Park Service’s small parks in and around the Washington D.C metro area (https://www.nps.gov/grfa/index.htm). It also happens to be only about 10 miles from my home. Last week two of my granddaughters had a school holiday, so we decided to picnic at the park. The day turned out to be a beautiful, late autumn afternoon and food always tastes better at a picnic outdoors!
While the girls were playing, I took a short walk to one of the overlooks of the falls on the Potomac River. I had brought my camera, so I proceeded to take numerous photos of the falls. While processing the photos at home, I picked three of them to present in this blog post. Lately, I have become enamored with black and white photography, so I converted these to black and white by utilizing DxO Silver Efex Pro 2 after the initial processing in Adobe Lightroom. I prefer the black and white photos.
Color Image processed with Adobe Lightroom
Black and White version processed with DxO Silver Efex Pro 2 Preset #043 More Silver
Color Image Processed with Adobe Lightroom. In the bottom of the photo you can see a kayaker trying to row upstream. He never made it!
Black and White version processed with DxO Silver Efex Pro 2 Preset #023 Wet Rocks
The last image was shot at 1/125 of a second shutter speed to stop the action of the rapids. Again, in the bottom of the photo you can see another kayaker trying to row upstream, he also failed to do that! Color Image processed with Adobe Lightroom
Black and White version processed with DxO Silver Efex Pro 2 – no presets, just a few adjustments and a red color filter.
Please come back to visit www.cestlavie4me.com to go with me on my photographic journey to become a better photographer.
In 2013 when I decided to start my photography hobby I joined a local photo club. This has been a great opportunity to improve my photography as well as learn new aspects of photography and meet some very amazing photographers. We meet twice a month. The first meeting usually features an accomplished photographer as a guest speaker and the second meeting is our club photo contest.
I have entered several contests but as you might expect, I have not won any prizes. That is not important, what is important is the contests cause me to try different things and have new experiences. Our last contest used the theme of bridges for our subject. This turned out to be a nice solo adventure for me and I was rewarded for my efforts. Usually the judge just looks at my picture and moves on. This time he actually stopped and looked at it for a long 20-30 seconds and then said “nice image“. I felt like I had won an award!
The picture of the Key Bridge crossing the Potomac River at Georgetown is the “nice image”. The fun part is what it took to get the photo. My adventure started with a Metro train ride to Rosslyn Virginia which is across the river from Washington DC. When I left the train, I walked to the river and saw the bridge but the view was not very good, so I started to walk. Now Rosslyn is a mix of high rise office towers, shops and lots of traffic. It is almost like another downtown for DC, so maneuvering through traffic to get a photo is tough.
As I crossed over closer to the river , I saw a walkway that led down to a trail near the river. I proceeded to walk down the trail which was filled with bikers and joggers and me with my photo bag and tripod! Still no good vantage point, so I got off the trail and went walking down to the river. It was dusk and there was no one with me and the area was starting to look a little spooky. I thought to myself “no big deal, I’m a big city kid!” I pushed aside some bushes and trash and soon was at the river’s edge with a good view finally!
There was some brick-brat on the edge of the water and I set my tripod up on that and literally stood on a small ledge and looked through my viewfinder to take some photos. After a few minutes of clicking the shutter I heard some noise. As I looked around I saw a man walking about 50 yards from me and he was talking to himself! It was at that point that the big city kid decided he had enough pictures for the evening!
This photo was taken with my Canon Rebel T3 and a Canon EF 24-70mm L lens at 70mm. I used a shutter speed of 2.5 seconds at f11 and an ISO of 200. I hope you think it is a “nice image”.
Key Bridge crossing the Potomac River at Georgetown.