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Magazine
Making an Exceptional Waterfall Photo Using a Time-lapse Based Approach

by Editor Yan Zhang 
Edited and published by Yvette Depaepe, the 26th of September 2022 

 

'Elegant Edith Falls'

 

Waterfalls have been a favourite subject in my landscape photography. They are often one of the most beautiful and iconic sceneries in many national parks and mountain regions around the world.

While both amateur and professional photographers are keen to take photographs for famous and elegant waterfalls, making an exceptional waterfall image can be very challenging – not only because of the waterfalls’ dynamically changing forms, but also because of limited composition options due to constraint surroundings in many situations. 

In this tutorial article, I’ll share my experience of using a new approach for making an exceptional waterfall photograph: from the research about the area to the field shooting techniques, the post processing, and the final image

 

Getting familiar with the subject

Along the 4.2 km loop trail known as Transit of Venus Walk is Edith Falls, one of the three waterfalls, located in the north Woodford in the Blue Mountains National Park. Comparing with many other famous and big waterfalls in the Blue Mountains, Edith Falls is small, and often ignored by photographers.

Indeed, at the first glimpse, Edith Falls is not quite impressive: in a dry season, Edith Falls may appear insignificant and even negligible; and its surrounding areas are full of shrubs blocking views from distance.

 

Usually, Edith Falls appears to be a small and insignificant waterfall.

 

However, my intuition tells that there should have a way to reveal the hidden beauty of this unique waterfall.
I observed that there is a little pond under the waterfall, where a creek down the hill is originated from there. Most of the times, the creek is too calm to show any interesting movement. But I know that under some extreme situations, the creek will add great features to the waterfall.

 

In the field: Using time-lapse approach

In late December 2021, after many days of heavy rainfalls, I visited Edith Falls again. Then I noticed one major change there: there were many big foams in the creek produced from the little pond under the waterfall. I was not sure how they were formed, because I never saw so many foams here before.

 

 Dramatic foams appeared in the creek under the fall after many days’ heavy rains.

 

Observing such interesting elements in the creek, I decided to use these slowly moving foams as foreground for taking a photo of Edith Falls.

 

I was in the shooting field.

 

The complete shooting process consisted of two steps:

Step 1. Taking multiple individual shots.
As I wanted my final image to be as sharp as possible from front to rear, I took ten individual shots with the same composition, but each of them was focused on different spots of the scene – focusing on the rocks on the right and left sides in the middle ground, tree branches on the right, waterfall itself, and tree leaves on the background near and behind the waterfall.

These shots would be used in post processing stage for focus stacking purpose. As an example, let us examine two different shots, while one was focused on the background area and one was focused on the foreground area in the scene.

 

The first shot was focused on the rear box area.

 

The second shot was focused on the front box area.

 

By enlarging 400% of the areas of the rear boxes of these two shots, we can see that the left screenshot from the first shot was sharper than the right screenshot from the second shot. 

 

By enlarging 400% of the areas of the front boxes of these two shots, we can see that the right screenshot from the second shot was sharper than the left screenshot from the first shot.

 

Step 2: Taking 300 shots using an approach for time-lapse

I tried a few shots, and quickly realised that these foams moved just too slow, and the daylight was too strong, therefore, I hardly captured any noticeable movement of the stream by using a 3-stop ND filter, which was an additional one in front of the CLP on the lens, with the correct exposure time of 1 second at aperture f/11.

So, I simply switched my D850 to the interval shooting mode and set 300 successive shots continuously – the approach that I usually use for making a time-lapse. After about 5 minutes, the camera completed 300 multiple shots. In theory, this would achieve a 5- minutes long exposure effect after stacking all these frames together.

 

A screenshot shows a part of the 300 frames taken in the field.

 


Post processing – creating the visual impact and atmosphere


Step1: Focus stacking to create the sharpest image from front to rear

Recall that before I took 300 frames using time-lapse approach, I had firstly taken 10 individual shots focusing on different areas in the scene with the same composition, see P4-P7 above. The purpose of doing is to obtain a sharpest image in the post process stage through a technique called focus stacking in Photoshop.

 

I loaded 10 individual shots into Photoshop, then applied “Auto-Align Layers …” and “Auto-Blend Layers …”
functions successively, to generate a new image which blends the sharpest part of each shot together.

 

Step 2: Blend 300 frames together to achieve a 5-minute long exposure effect

The next step is to load those 300 frames into Photoshop and blend all 300 frames together to form a image having a 5-minute long exposure effect. In particular, I simply did the following steps in Photoshop:

(a)   File  Script Load Files into Stack … (load 300 raw images)

(b)   Highlight all 300 layers in the “Layer” panel

(c)   Change the blend mode from “Normal” to “Lighten”

(d)   Layer Flatten Image

After completing these steps, I got the following image: 

 

Blending 300 frames together to achieve a 5-minute long exposure effect.

 

Step 3: Integrating images from Step 1 and Step 2.

It should be noted that the image obtained from Step 2 (see p10) only achieves the long exposure effect, the foreground and background may not be properly focused. So in this step, I need to combine the sharp image produced from Step 1 with the long exposure image produced from Step 2.

To do so, I simply did one more time of “Auto-Align Layers …” and “Auto-Blend Layers …” on these two images. In such a way, I finally formed an integrated image as shown in the following screenshot:

 

Integrating the focus stacking image and long exposure image obtained from Step 1 and Step 2, respectively.

 

Step 4: Cropping – changing the image orientation if necessary

Most of the time, when I was in a shooting field, I could make a quick decision whether to use a landscape format or a portrait format to capture the scene. But situation in this environment was a bit different. On one hand, I wanted the moving creek to be a dominated foreground, and hence a landscape format would be good for this purpose; but on the other hand, as we can see that the left side of foreground was quite messy and significantly distracted the view from the waterfall.

With this consideration in mind, I decided to shoot with a wide-angle landscape format which would provide me more flexibilities for post processing. Indeed, after carefully examining all elements contained in the landscape frame, I believed that cropping the image into a portrait format led to a better composition capturing this scenery, as shown in the following screenshot of Photoshop.

 

Cropping the landscape format image into a portrait format.

 

Step 5: Creating the mood – colour, contrast, light, and details

After previous steps, I obtained the image as showed in P12, which has the long exposure effect for the foreground, and also satisfies my preferred composition.

Now, what I wanted to achieve was to create a surreal mood to restore my feelings in the photography field. To fulfil this goal, I firstly did a general colour adjustment towards a cooler tone and slightly enhanced the overall contrast, through Camera Raw Filter in Photoshop. The result after such adjustment is showed as in P14.

 

After a general colour and contrast adjustment.

 

Based on the image showed in P14, I started to focus on the lighting, details, and colour refinement in various local areas. Although the effect from each of these adjustments looks very subtle, by combining them altogether, it makes the final image standout.

The processing is quite tedious and time consuming. Here I just show how the processing was done in two specific local areas as showed in the red boxes in P15.

 

Red boxes are the two selected local areas for demonstration – one is the tree area and the other is the foreground waterflow area.

 

Comparison with the local area (tree) after 100% enlargement.

 

As shown in P16, I used light painting technique in Photoshop to enhance the colour and brightness of the left side tree leaves, so that this part became more focused and coherent with the highlight of the waterfall – considering that the natural light source was from the top of the waterfall.

Note: Readers can easily find many online references of the technique detail about light painting in Photoshop.

Similar approach and technique were applied to process the foreground waterflow as showed in p17.

 

Comparison with the local area (waterflow) after 100% enlargement. On the right side, two major changes were made: (1) colour was slightly adjusted towards a cooler tone; (2) through light painting, further increasing the contrast and textures of the waterflow appearance.

 

The final image, which is obtained based on the image in P14, by doing many subtle adjustments on lighting,
detail, and colour refinements across the entire image.

 

Final words

      A successful landscape photograph always starts with a successful shooting in the field – not only technically sound, but also being based on a well thought idea and plan.

     Post processing techniques are not as difficult to master as many people think. But the true challenge is to establish personal aesthetics concepts, which significantly influence a photographer’s works.

 

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The light painting technique is fairly simple. Add a new blank layer, set the layer blending mode to soft light or overlay. You can now paint with a soft brush at say 10% opacity to make changes. Black darkens, white lightens and a colour affects the colour of the underlying image.
A better way to stack the time lapse images is to use a star stacking program like StarTrax. That also allows a variety of stacking methods. Affinity photo allows a non-destructive global colour change by adding a new layer, fill it with the opposite colour you want to blend and set the blend mode to divide. You can change the colour of the fill layer to get the colour cast that you want. You could also add a white balance layer but that isn't as flexible.
Thanks for your kind words. I’m glad you find this tutorial is useful.
Thanks for sharing this excellent description. Very inspiring and helpful.
Thank you, great explanation of your workflow
Thank you very much for sharing the process you used to create this superb waterfall image!
Grazie mille per la descrizione dei vari passaggi e la spiegazione molto chiara, complimenti per il lavoro e le fotografie
Thank you for taking the time and effort to share it all. Are you talking about the Blue Mountains in Katoomba??
The waterfall is in Woodford, Blue Mountains. Thanks
Interesting technique used in the localization, I will try It as son as posible. Thanks you so much for sharing.
Guau,menudo trabajo. Idea, técnica y edición sobresalientes, Enhorabuena Yan Zhang . Excelente trabajo
Thank you very much for this detailed description and what an excellent solution to do a time lapse, thanks for sharing and congrats with this magnificent photo!
Dasha and Mari - Photography persisting the war time

By Editor Marius Cinteză
Edited and published by Yvette Depaepe, the 23rd of September 2022

About 1 year ago the first interview with Dasha and Mari, twin sisters photographers from Ukraine excelling in fashion, psychological portrait and artistic nude, was published in 1x.com Magazine, revealing aspects of their photographer lives and samples of their amazing portfolio (“Dasha and Mari - Mastering the psychological portrait”).

In the meanwhile, since the Russia invaded Ukraine, their lives (and ours, also) fundamentally changed. We have been in contact all this period and I am happy that they are getting better, starting a new life chapter and coping with this unwanted change. Recently, I have invited Dasha and Mari to a short follow-up discussion about photography and about the war impact on their artists careers. Please join me and let’s discover together below new glimpses of their lives and their confiding future plans!

'Poetry'


Dasha and Mari, it is a great pleasure for me to invite you to continue our discussion! We have had our interview about 1 year ago. In the meanwhile everything has changed and I would like to start by asking you firstly if you and your family are safe at this moment and how do you feel about the last months?
Well, the situation in Ukraine is still unpredictable and not easy. Our family has remained there since the beginning of the war. We are currently in Germany and the life here is different, but also has certain undertones. Some people may adapt to new rules, others simply can’t. We will see how everything will go in this new country. The thing is everyone needs harmony and satisfaction in life. Finding it elsewhere than in your own country is also a challenge.

'Royal Tea. The Kiss'


In the 1st interview about 1 year ago your future plans at that time were about some interesting commercial projects in Europe, preparing some limited edition prints for art collectors and galleries and publishing a book with photography works. How has this period impacted these projects and your life as photographers in general?
Frankly speaking, there were many questions and aspects to deal with aside from photography. We are working on some projects which we created before the war, but everyday life in the new country brings many questions and tasks to cope with.

We want to publish our book of photography, but it requires proper time to work on it, and a good publisher. New limited edition art prints will be available early this autumn.

'Secrets. The mirror'


Creativity in the war time can be considered in general a form of non-violent resistance and one of the most important ways of expression in these critical times. Please tell us how is it for you, Dasha and Mari?
Needless to say that everything depends on the comfort within your soul and body, circumstances you are in and expectations you have for the nearest time. As for us, it is a barrier we need to overcome in order to settle our mind into a creative mood. Concentration within is highly important. Despite difficulties on the way, we try to manage emotions and spread the light of beauty through our art photography works to the world's society. Because the art always speaks internationally!

'Royal tea. Grace'


Art provides an universal language for the artists to convey messages. If you would put in place a project/exhibition about the last months of your life what would be the message you would like to convey?
We probably would create a series of works which speak about determination and resistance, self-confidence, doubts and indestructible will. Each of these emotions should be reflected in a special way.

Novella


The last months of war changed all our plans and our priorities. Can you please share your photography plans and future projects you would like to involve?
We definitely would like to move further with our plans and ideas which we always have within. It is a matter of right time, people and situation when everything we have in mind will be transformed into pieces of art. It is like a sparkle that brings a new fresh breath!

Fitting

 

Tales

 

Malibu

 

Glory

 

Royal Tea. Petals

 

Royal Tea. Tease

 

Honey

 

Novella II

 

Write
Precioso trabajo , enhorabuena
Muchas gracias Jose Antonio!
What a beautiful and attractive set with such a grace and beauty sublimation! Love your work and the overall erotic and charming feeling.
Thank you for your compliments and thoughts dear Olivier. We wish to share more beauty and elegant artworks from the space of our imagination..!
a very interesting report. i wish everyone a peaceful life and hope that the war is over soon. i like the photos of the two twin sisters very much, they tell stories and are beautifully edited. thank you for the great report and all the love and good for the future!
Dear Ruth, thank you very much for appreciation of our Art and further development! The article is great.
Many thanks, Ruth, for your kind words!
Outstanding images ! A visual treat great article too
Thank you for compliments! Marius and Yvette worked on the article really well!
Thank you so much, Shobhit!
Terrific gallery and accurate article. Happy to following you dear Dasha and Mari. Thank you Yvette and Marius
Dear Federico, we are thankful for your warm words.
Thanks Federico! Really appreciated!
Great work and article Yvette
Credits go to Marius, dear David! Thanks for passing by ;-)
Thank you for good vibes and energy to follow our creative way in the future, in this difficult time!
Lavori fantastici, complimenti. Speriamo torni la serenità per voi e per tutto il mondo. Grazie cara Yvette e Marius per questa presentazione
Many thanks, Francesco, for your kind words!!
Thanks for wonderful words dear Francesca. We are thankful to Marius and Yvette for nice presentation and organisation of this interview!
Восхищаюсь вашим творчеством. Всё будет хорошо. Слава Украине! 🇺🇦
Thanks, Dmitry! Слава Украине!
Дорогой Дмитрий, благодарим Вас за поддержку и душевное тепло в это сложное время! Очень надеемся на хорошие перемены в мире.
Outstanding photographic work!
Dear Ludmila, we are thankful to you for your words and appreciation of our creative vision. We will do our best to continue this Art way and bring new exciting photography stories to all Art lovers!
Fantastic work!
Thank you very much!
Pick of The Week - Mood.

By Editor Peter Davidson (PoTW - #22013)
Edited and published by Yvette Depaepe, the 22nd of September 2022

 

                                                                                       'The Rytham of Sorrow' by Sebastian Kisworo

 

This weeks category of 'Mood' is probably one of the most favourite sections of 1x. 'Mood' attains to the feeling a viewer experiences when looking at an image. But with so many to choose from,  picking a PoTW was both easy and hard.

It struck me while looking through the 'mood' images here on 1x that photographers are, on the whole, a pretty depressed bunch. The overwhelming recurring theme was one of melancholy. So much so that when eventually I came across an image that instead shouted to me of exuberance and vitality, my 'mood' was immediately uplifted. But even this image has a slight melancholy attribute within its title. 


However, this image by  Sebastian Kisworo
 has nothing melancholic about it, to me at least. What it does have and shows, is the love and passion of the musician for her music, and music has a unique ability to move the emotions. And this picture beautifully captures that mood.

Write
Emotional, dynamic, great composition, perfect editing ... An educational piece of great photos for me
Very impressive!
Her face and body language are full of emotions. Heavenly photo, Sebastian. Congratulations ...
I feel the music in my ears and mind. The warm wind touches my skin. Congratulations Sebastian and thank you Yvette
Thanks, Veli !!! Editor Peter Davidson made this choice ;-)
The making of 'Online' by Alfonso Novillo

by Editor Michel Romaggi in collaboration with the author, Alfonso Novillo 
Edited and published by Yvette Depaepe, the 21st of September 2022

 

Shapes, lines, and colours in urban landscapes are the main source of inspiration for Alfonso who turns them into striking colourful pictures.
He kindly told us how he worked to get this result.

 

'Online'

 

Can you precisely describe to us the steps to achieve 'Online' from the moment you captured it until the final editing?

'Online' consists of two photographic shots.  The idea came to me when I saw a red facade with a horizontal white line. I knew it was a nice composition, but something was missing. Ideas always pop up sooner or later but certainly if you explore the surroundings, you will realize you have it right there.
Curiously, it happened to me a few meters from my house.  I saw this red facade in an industrial area, and right in front of me, there was a parking exit door and the no-entry road sign . When I saw it, I already knew what I had in mind while taking the photo, then I had only to unite the plan of the facade, with the no entry sign that was right in front of me and that’s how the photo "Online" appeared.

 

Strange enough, it wasn’t the first time that this happened with a photograph. For example, with the photo "Mute" something similar happened (although in this case I also had to change the colour of the facade from gray to blue).  This really is a start from where I always try to improvise and make something special with my pictures.

 

'Mute'

 

I always use Photoshop and Camera RAW for the post-processing.  I try to squeeze the colours as much as possible.  The first thing I do is correct the perspective in Camera RAW as well as the levels, lights, shadows, tones, etc.  Then I open it in photoshop and refine the colour processing of the photograph. I also eliminate many things that don't fit in the composition using the clone buffer or the adjustment layers. I can spend hours processing an image, playing with colours depending on the type of composition. I sometimes include an object to give it more realism, although the most important is that in the end, the image is convincing.

 

Playing with shapes and colours seem to be primordial to you, isn't it?

In abstract architecture photography, you can find countless ideas and curiosities, when you find a striking composition, the important thing is not what that composition is, but the game you can get out of it, playing with the details and even improvising with the objects around you. It does not matter the colour or if something you have seen in the shot does not catch your attention, because then you can play with it in the post-process, with photoshop and adapt it to what you like the most.

 

'Blocks'

 

What equipment do you use?

Most of my shots are taken with a tele lens (70-300 mm.) to get some details from a facade. It is ideal, even if it is far from the objective.
I also use a 35mm. fixed focal length lens, for general compositions. Depending on the accessibility of the building, one lens or another may be used.

 

Can you tell us how you came to photography and especially to this kind of photography?

For many years, I have been found of photography. What most catches my attention is architectural and abstract photography. I have always enjoyed it since I had my very first analogue camera.  I loved photographing buildings. I started to study photography in the analogue era when digital photography did not exist. I like to go out with my camera and my equipment, I don't care what time it is, or if the weather is good or not.  When I go to the city, knowing that the buildings always are there in the same position, you might think that you are not going to discover something new.  But you can!  Looking for the best angles, improvising with the weather or taking advantage of unexpected moments. It happens often that I save the exact point of interest to go back anytime to photograph it. I like to use a neutral density filter in the morning on a sunny day.  In the evening it is interesting to take advantage of the last hours of light. I am very lucky to live in Madrid, since the city has been growing in recent years and has given me the opportunity to make the most of the city’s surroundings, from skyscrapers to impressive buildings full of harmony and colour. An advice I would like to give, try to feel comfortable at all times and never despair.  There is always the possibility to work on your photos with post-processing. 

 

'Color Facade'

 

Many thanks, Alfonso.

I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to share it.
I hope this tutorial will be motivating for many.

 

Write
Thank you never thought using time lapse for that kind of shot I will try this technic 👍👍👍
Very original and striking photography! The colours are heavenly! Congrats, Alfonso! Thanks, Yvette, for this interview!
Thank you very much dear Yvette and Michel for this incredible report, which makes me so happy!!! I loved the result, thank you for your incredible work, best regards! ;)
Thank you, Alfonso! Very much appreciated!
Wonderfully composed! What makes your images special to me is that they so often combine clean lines and shapes with creative humor. Chapeau, Alfonso
Thank you very much Knut!
Fantastic!
Thank you very much!
love the colors and shapes, the creativity. well done.
Thanks a lot Kimberly!
GREAT
Thank you so much!
txules PRO
Fabulosas; enhorabuena
Muchísimas gracias!
Nice work Alfonso, love your images!
Thank you so much Patrick!
Great Alfonso. My compliments. Congratulations
Muchas gracias Jois!
Very creative and inspiring, congratulations Alfonso!
Thanks a lot Yanyan
a long overdue contribution and a special recognition for your photographic creativity, dear friend Alfonso, congratulations. Thanks also to Michael and Yvette
Thank you Hans-Wolfgang.
Thank you very much dear Hans for your incredibles words!!! Much appreciated!
These photos fascinate me and convince with clarity of shape and colour. Congratulations!
Thank you so much Stephan!
Felicidades, tus fotos son geniales
Muchas gracias Helena!
Congratulations Alfonso for your gallery. Minimal images with color that captures the viewer. The composition of your photographs are very interesting, because with a few elements inserted you create a super effect. Thanks Michael and Yvette, always available to introduce us to the 1x members
Thank you Francesca
Thank you dear Francesca ;-)
Thank you very much for your words Francesca!
Great work and great interview. Congratulations Alfonso!
Muchísimas gracias por tus palabras Pedro!!!
Ruiqing P. - Photographic Art that speaks to the Heart

by Yvette Depaepe
Published the 19th of September 2022

 

Ruiqing P. 's photography is outstanding, beautiful and impressive.  She claims that her photographic journey is just starting and wants to continue to master new skills, to improve her artistic and creative vision. She wants to create the kind of art that speaks for her and makes others as happy as it makes her. She sometimes even uses photography as a means of meditation and that makes her happy.  I love when she quotes : 'If you want to touch someone's heart with your image it has to touch your own heart first.'
I invite you to discover more about this great artist and the interesting lady behind her work.


'Mysterious Oak Trees'

Dear friend, briefly tell us about yourself, your hobbies and other jobs.

I’m a scientist with a background in molecular biology working at a Federal Government Agency as an active duty officer in the Public Health Service, Commissioned Corps. I am dedicated to public welfare and volunteer in several non-profit organizations. Because of my busy lifestyle, I use photography as a means of meditation - something that ultimately makes me feel happy.  
For me, photography is a science that is full of fun! The more I study, the more I feel challenged and inspired. It challenges both sides of my brain (analytical and artistic), helps me to better observe, understand and analyse the world where we live in, and is also the great tool to help me to express my feelings artistically. This is totally fun to my brain.
Besides photography, I also love travelling, visiting museums, enjoying music, and appreciate all forms of art.

 

'Ibex sand dune'

 

How has your history and life experiences affected your photography?

My parents are physicians, not artists, but their passion for music, literature and art always influenced me throughout my life. I remember when I was a kid, I’d spend some time in the darkroom of the hospital where my father worked, under the safe lights, watching photos develop slowly. I never forgot how fascinating it was!

 

'Pink Breakfast'

Which are your most important experiences that has influenced your art?

The most unforgettable experiences for me is the Marc Adamus’  photography workshop I attended in 2021. I learned so much more from that trip than I ever could reading my photography books. It was an eye-opening experience for me! Marc’s vision for landscape photography and his life-long passion for the wilderness inspires me.
I also want to thank 1X for being a great influence on my work. I believe my artistic vision has improved through collaboration and inspiration.

 

'Crashing Waves'

 

 

'Sister Rock Sunset'

 

 

'Misty Creek Falls Creek'

 

What first attracted you to photography?

I bought my first DSLR camera in 2016 because of a family trip. I used the automatic function for a year until I joined a local photo club and photographer’s social media group in 2017-2018 when my daughter left for college. I met many talented photographers and who encouraged me to stay with my passion. Back then, I often asked myself why I couldn’t take photos like theirs and why I never liked mine? I learned that it takes time so I started my self-study photography journey and found that the more I learned, the happier I felt. Now photography plays a major role in my life. 

 

'Cracking beauty'

Describe your overall photographic vision.

I use photography as a means to understand the world we live in and express my feelings for nature. I hope I can use my photos to inspire others, just like nature inspires me. 
My process is that I observe and notice things I want to capture, document what I see with my camera truthfully, and express my feelings artistically by adding mood to the work.

 

You seem to be passionate about landscape photography as well as by wildlife photograph. Why are you so drawn by these totally different categories?

Landscape and wildlife photography are similar belonging to nature. Exploring the wilderness and capturing the beauty of nature is what I love most.

 

'The Story of Spring'

What is more important to you, the mood,/story behind your images or the technical perfection?

I believe a great photo can evoke an emotional response from viewers. Technical skill is the foundation of a good photographer but I don’t think everything needs to be “perfect,” because imperfections can still present the work in a better way. Even in the hands of a master, a camera alone will never capture nature as “perfectly” as we observe it with all of our senses. I believe a great photo is the combination of a photographer's creative idea, technical skill, and the story behind the image.

 

'Endless'

What generally is your relationship to your subject matter beyond being an observer?

I am a participant and a nature’s lover. I believe if you want to touch someone's heart with your image, it must touch your own heart first. 

 

Do you prepare carefully the locations where you are intending to photograph?

Yes, absolutely! Before every photography trip, I will research where I’m going and take inspiration from other photos taken in similar areas. If I am shooting wildlife photography, besides checking weather and maps, I research animal behaviour and learn from my photographer friends about the locations and other relevant information.   No matter how you prepare, there is always an unexpected situation. I always stay flexible but do my best to prepare before any photography trip.

 

'Night Sky of Badlands'

What gear do you use (camera, lenses, bag)?

Previously, I was using a Nikon D850 camera. Two months ago, I switched my camera from Nikon to a Sony Alpha1. The lenses I use are: Sony 14 mm f1.8, Sony 12-24mm f2.8, Sony 24-105 mm f/4.0 and Sony 200-600mm. My husband makes fun of me because I have too many camera backpacks but this is also necessary for my photography trip.

 

What software do you use to process your images?

I mostly use Photoshop and other plug-ins such as Nik collection, Topaz, etc. to process my images.

 

Can you tell us something more about your work flow?

I import and manage my photos in Lightroom. I usually start processing photos with ACR for basic adjustment then send the files to Photoshop to make further adjustments.

I often go back and forth between ACR and Photoshop before getting a satisfactory image. I use Topaz DeNoiseAI and Topaz Sharpen AI for most of my wildlife images.  Sometimes I use Nik Collection to enhance tonal contract, add some special effect and enhance mood of the photo. No matter what tool I use for landscape images, I often selectively process the foreground, middle ground and background separately. Global adjustment is needed but for most of my photos but making selective adjustments is necessary. 

 

'Red Foxes playing on Beach

What is your most important advice to a beginner in landscape and/or wildlife photography and how do you get started?

Good technical skill is the foundation of being a good photographer. One can learn technical skill by practising in the field, but I think one of the most important stages for a photographer is to have your own artistic vision. Our artistic vision is comprised of every aspect of who we are and what we believe in, driving our work. Artistic vision is the key element that creates individuality in our work and and allows it to stand out from other similar works. Artistic vision may take years and life experience to find and I am still striving to develop my own. For a beginner, if you think about developing artistic vision while you are learning photography skills, you may find it sooner. 
I suggest to immerse yourself in all forms of visual art such as watching movies, visiting art galleries, and studying your favourite works that inspire you. Visiting 1X gallery is one of the best ways to learn by many top photographers.

 

'Castleton Peak'

Who are your favourite photographers and more importantly, how has your appreciation of their work affected how you approach your own photography? 

I have so many favourite photographers. Just name a few, some of my favourite landscapers are Marc Adamus, John Fan, Hua Zhu, Larry Deng and Bingo Z. For wildlife, Phillip Chang is my favourite.

In front of Marc Adamus’s work, I always feel the magic and energy of the wilderness. His talent and boldness capturing amazing light movements and epic moments all over the world encourages me.

John Fan’s photography book, blog, and photography works influence me through his wisdom and the way he uses his work to convey the conjointment of nature and the wisdom of life. I learned a great deal of what makes a great photo from his critiques as well.

Hua Zhu’s landscape works, especially the photos taken in north-west of China, are so beautiful and breathtaking. His dedication to photography and passion to nature leave me in awe.

Larry Deng’s artistic vision, mood to photo, and post-processing skills are mesmerizing.

I learned a lot about post processing through Bingo Z. His ingenuity, use of unique colours, and creative vision of art is all unmistakable.

Last but not least, Phillip Chang is full of stories and mood. Through him, I learned that for a great wildlife photo, technical perfection is not the most important - story/mood and artistic expression comes first.

I can’t name everyone but there are so many more great artists from 1X, in my photo club, and photographer friends near me, whose work inspire me every day as well. 

'Social distancing'

 

'Love Story'

Are there any specific directions that you would like to take your photography in the future or any specific goals that you wish to achieve?

My journey for photography is just starting. I will continue to master new skills, strive to improve artistic and creative vision. I want to create the kind of art that speaks for me and makes others as happy as it makes me.

 

'Stone Tree'

Describe your favourite photograph taken by you and why it is special to you?
This is not a perfect photo but is my favourite one that taken two years ago at a local park near my home. It was a misty morning and I planned to practice my wildlife photography skill by taking the departure moment of Canadian geese on the lake. While I was waiting and focusing on the water surface, suddenly a flock of flying geese under the morning light caught my eyes. I very quickly changed the focus, and aimed to them in front of these beautiful autumn wood. During post processing, I enhanced the light and colour, adding my artistic treatment to it. 
It is a special photo to me because it taught me to react quickly when facing an unexpected situation. Opportunity for capturing a decisive moment is there only for people who have the skills and are prepared for it. This picture also signals that a good photo does not necessarily have to be taken in an exotic place but could be in your own backyard.

 

'Misty Morning'

Is there anything else you wish to add and what do you think about 1X as a home base for your work?

I want to thank Yvette for giving me this opportunity. I always enjoy reading 1X magazine and other articles by the 1X editorial team. Being published and awarded on 1X gives me a feeling of achievement. 1X is not only my home base to share my own works with others, but also a great learning platform for me. I am very proud of being a part of 1X family.

 

I'm proud to present your interview in our magazine, dear Ruiqing !
Thanks a lot ...

 

Write
Felicidades por la entrevista. Tus fotos muestran una visión original y única que se han convertido en toda una referencia!
Thank you so much!
Congratulations !!!!!!
Thanks a lot!
Congratulations! Indeed a remarkable achievement.
Thank you dear James:)
Congrats df Ruiqing, well done
Thank you mdf. You are my inspiration.
Congratulations! Great achievement.
Thank you my friend.
Great achievement!!!
Thanks mdf.
Congratulations! Great work!
Thanks a lot Jun.
Ruiqing, Congratulations for your great achievement!
Thank you mdf Rong.
Excellent collection with the wonderful interview! Congrats!
Thank you dear Ivy.
What a great collection of fascinating art work! Congratulations!
Thanks a lot Xiaolin.
Bellissimo articolo con altrettanto ottime fotografie.
Thanks a lot, appreciated.
Warmest congratulations on your well-deserved achievement! You’re an inspiration! Wishing you even more success in the future, dear friend!
Thank you mdf Catherine. You are my inspiration too!
Congratulations! Very impressive and inspiring. I will pay more attention to the art works of your "favorite photographers" and hopefully they would give me inspiration. :)
Thank you mf Bill .
May G PRO
Congratulations for your great achievement!!
Thank you mdf May!
Your passion for photography is vividly in display here, very inspiring! Congratulations!
Thanks a lot mdf Chao. I appreciate your kind words.
Excellent and diversity collection in the interview! Appreciate very much the work of the interview! Love it!
Thank you dear Wanghan for your kind words.
Congrats, Ruiqing !!! Excellent interview and stunning work!
Thank you mdf Yun.
Super awesome ! Congrats !
Thank you dear Jennifer .
Beautiful work and great interview ,
Thanks a lot Dear Saskia.
Excellent view of nature and emotive photographs, Congrats!
Thanks mdf Yanny.
Excellent and beautiful profile, congrats dear Ruiqing!
Dear Molly, thank you for your encouragement.
Amazing images and amazing photographer!
Thanks a lot dear Wenjin.
A beautiful collection and interview, congratulations dear Ruiqing!
Thank you for your kind words dear Yanyan.
Beautiful collection and fantastic work!
Thank you dear Dennis.
Excellent interview and fantastic work. Congrats, Ruiqing !!! Thanks a lot, Yvette.
Thank you dear Louie. Your works often inspires me :)
My pleasure, Louie!
What a beautiful portfolio! Your work and vision are inspiring! Congrats!
Thank you mdf Leah.
Congratulations! Well done!
Thanks a lot!
Beautiful and exciting images. Thanks for your very interesting interview, Congratulations Ruiqing. Thanks Yvette for introducing us to the beautiful work.
Thank you dear Francesca for your kind words and encouragement.
Thank you, dear Francesca!
Dear Ruiqing, it was a pleasure to interview you. Your work is beautiful and as sensitive as you are ;-) Congratulations...
Thank you so much dear Yvette for this opportunity. I really enjoyed working with you.
Such stunning and emotive photographs , loved every one of them , congratulations Ruiqing . Thanks again Yvette for showcasing the beautiful work
Sure, Ruiqing deserves to be in the spotlights ;-) Thanks, dear Anita!