Around the way / Photography

Fun at Great Falls

A few weeks ago I took a trip to Great Falls Park (Virginia side). I went with my Fuji X-Pro1, my two lenses, an infrared filter, and my trusty tripod. I’m sharing some of my favorite infrared and HDR shots from that day.

Considering how short a drive it is from my home, it’s a shame I haven’t gone to Great Falls more often. It really is a beautiful destination and one worth checking out – on either side… after all, I am a Maryland boy.

I made my standard stop at Difficult Run, right up the street from Great Falls Park’s Virginia exit. There’s something special about that place, and I still need to explore more of its trails. This was the first spot in which I discovered the fun one can have shooting flowing water. I couldn’t wait to try that out in infrared.

Infrared Difficult Run

Some of my favorite shots of the day came on the first overview off the trail leading out of the parking lot. The shot below is one example. Clicking on it will take you to a similar one on my Flickr page. I wish I could get all my infrared shots to look this nice.

Difficult Infrared Overview

When I got to the Great Falls Park parking lot, I walked up the trail, past the falls. Once I reached the river, I was welcomed by a blue heron who was just relaxing and standing in place. I wish I had a longer lens, but  I still think I managed to get some nice shots. Click on the image below to see it in color on my Flicker page.

Infrared Blue Heron B&W

But of course, the main attraction ar the falls themselves. They’re nothing like Iguazu or Niagara but they are still stunning. While I was at the first overlook, I ran into a Canadian who was in DC on business. He made the wise choice of going to Great Falls instead of the monuments, and he was understandably pleased with his decision.

Here are a few of my favorite shots of the falls at Great Falls Park. In my opinion, the view from Virginia is ‘nicer’ than the one from Maryland. The infrared shots were taken with my 35mm lens and processed in Lightroom and Photoshop. The HDR shots were taken with my 14mm and processed in Photomatix Pro and Photoshop.

Infrared Great Falls B&W

Infrared Great Falls

Infrared Great Falls Overlook

Great Wide Falls HDR

Great Falls Velvia HDR

Golden Great Falls HDR

There”s just something fun about shooting water, whether in infrared, HDR or straight up. I feel like I want to get a lot closer… I’m seriously considering getting that 55-200mm lens (and an infrared filter to go along with it). That probably isn’t happening for a while though. In the meantime, I’ll continue to make do with what  have.

Infrared Rapid

4 thoughts on “Fun at Great Falls

  1. Pingback: Fun at Great Falls | Traveling and taking pictu...

  2. Pingback: Fun at Great Falls | Fujifilm X-Pro1 X-E1 X100s...

    • My apologies… it’s been a very busy time for me.

      Without going into too much detail (especially since those details vary with each shot), here is my basic workflow:

      – I use an unaltered X-Pro1 and a 35mm lens mounted with a Hoya IR filter
      – I shoot RAW and use 2500K WB… although one can alter later
      – I’ve created a custom camera profile that I use in Lightroom to cool the WB down
      – I export DNGs and open in Photoshop… Red-Blue channel swap etc

      – all of these were shot with 14mm
      – three exposures captured on a tripod
      – images are merged and toned in Photomatix Pro
      – some additional (minimal) processing in Photoshop

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