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Fly-Fishing the Blackstone
20 April 2014 -- 110/365
Cumberland, Rhode Island
Today was a day of dynamically changing photographic objectives. The weather was beautiful, and after a conversation yesterday with a friend about motion blur, I decided to head to a particularly scenic section of the Blackstone River Bikeway. My plan was to setup my tripod with the Albion Mill in the background, and capture some motion blur of cyclists crossing Albion Road. If I got some blurred cars in the scene as well, even better. When I arrived, though, I noticed that the water level was extremely high in the Blackstone River, and the water flowing over the dam was heavy, fast, and creating significant churn in the river beneath the dam. Okay, scratch the motion blur, let's move to Plan B. Taking the tripod and camera kit down to the river bank, I setup for an HDR composite of the dam and the whitewater beneath it. Before I had a chance to take the first photo of what I planned to be a 7-exposure set, this fly-fisherman arrived and started to wade out into the river. Scratch Plan B and let's move onto Plan C. I photographed him from various angles, some with the waterfall in the background, some with the bridge in the background, and from this angle that gave a better sense of his activity without the other distractions. I went with this one. The moral of the story is to be flexible and go with the compositions that develop. I could have forced myself to stick with the original plan, but if I did, there's no telling if this scene would ever present itself again.
Post processing started with a classic filter in Topaz B&W FX. I adjusted color sensitivity sliders, adaptive exposure, regions, contrast, boost black, boost white, and protect highlights. I then applied a dodge to the highlights and midtones, followed by a levels adjustment, both in PSE.