Rainy Falls Trail by Terry Schmidbauer
Rainy Falls Trail, a photo by Terry Schmidbauer on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
This was taken in Southern Oregon on the Rainy Falls Trail. This trail follows the Rouge River for a couple of miles and ends at a waterfall. Not a long hike but quite technical with the slippery rocks and leaves on the trails.

When I first started out on the hike I took a couple establishing shots of the river, I normally do this at the beginning of every shoot to get a feeling for the lighting, exposure and just to get the juices flowing. Those first images were a huge disappointment; they looked so main stream and boring. There wasn’t anything unique about them at all; you could find the same images on posts cards at any visitor’s information center. I was looking to shoot something different, something that was unique to me and would tell the story of this area.

After an hour of shooting different scenarios, I came up with something that I felt worked. I really liked the rocky look of the trail so I photographed it from different viewpoints. But I also wanted to keep small bits of the river in every picture to give it presence. This juxtaposition between rock and water created a nice tension that helped balance my composition and also implied a connection between the two. It was a nice marriage and implied some sort of backstory.

I used the Sony’s sweep panorama mode to shoot this image. It’s a mode on most of Sony’s cameras now and it works by recording a sequence of photos as you physically scan the scene with the camera. This image is over 8,000 pixels wide right out of the camera. It just astounds me that a camera can create such a large file! There is very little post processing done in this image. I adjusted the contrast and color to fit my tastes but the changes were not very dramatic.