Orchy river

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I love Scotland. You know that. I fell in love long time ago by viewing Ian Cameron’s images. And I confirmed this love this year definitively during my trip to Scotland. This image remind me everytime the pure wilderness of Scotland landscape and nature emphasized by the winter season.  Orchy river is so much powerfull and wild during winter season because of raining.

Who did not travel anytime to Scotland, he or she did not know what raining  in Scotland conditions really means. Drizzle can always go into the rain, hail or temporary clarification. You has to be prepated on everyyhing. There, on the edge of Orchy river drizzling was also supported by wild water from cascades. So to make any photo was almost impossible without wiping constantly filters and securing camera by raincover. Moreover the light changed frequently thanks to moving clouds and any exposure time longer than 1/5s led to milky water without any details of water streams.

Orchy cascades

(c) Copyright Lubos Bruha 2013, All rights reserved. Buy Image here, or on Twenty20

I wanted to capture details of water streams to demostrate the powerfull wilderness of river and I also wanted to blur heavy clouds. But this scenerycan not be created in one exposure. Therefore I made six different exposures, three of them to capture details of water streams and the rest of images to cover trees and cloudy sky. It was also difficult to keep the same position, even with the camera held on tripod because of strong wind, drizzling and therefore neccessity to wiping filters in the front of lens, not to mention the slippery rocks.

Orchy cascades (b&w)
(c) Copyright Lubos Bruha 2013, All rights reserved. Buy Image here, or on Twenty20

I am not hiding that despite all the effort it was neccessary to retouch some parts of images during postprocessing. But the most difficult thing was not retouching, it was blending. After several unsatisfied attempts, the final image was created from two manually blended images. In the first image where I focused on the river and water strems, all six exposures are more or less used. For the second image – focused on sky and forest – I used only three of previously mentioned exposures. All blending work it would not be possible without using powerful luminosity masks technique (if you don’t know what luminosity masks means, see my video tutorial). At the end, black & white version, which I love even more because of rich tones and beautiful contrast, was created using Nik Silver Efex Pro plugin.


Self taught landscape photographer living in Prague, Czech Republic. He loves nature, especially he falls in love with the mountains. He travels in the spare time to beautiful locations around Europe and North America to catch up wonderful light and moments in his photographs. He shared here, apart from photographs, post processing tutorials and tips. In addition to this blog he also runs another site focused primary on the technology http://lubos.bruha.net.

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