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Firsts by Mashuto Firsts by Mashuto
Canon EOS 6D | EF 17-40 f/4L @26mm | 0.3s | f/16 | ISO 100 | Lee 0.6 SE GND

Well, I couldn't think of a title for this one, so the title is what this image represents to me. Firsts. There are a lot of firsts for me in this image. This is the first image I am posting from my new camera, the Canon 6D (which is great so far!), along with a new lens, the 17-40 f/4L. This is also the first image I am presenting worked on with some new workflow techniques I recently picked up. And of course, this is the first image I am sharing in this new year.

And for all these firsts, I decided to make a trip to Great Falls, VA. Great Falls is a location I have a little bit of a love/hate relationship with. It is a wonderful natural place, in fact it is the only real landscape location I know of in the immediate Washington, DC metro area. But I always struggle to find new and interesting things to shoot when I go there. It can be very one note... either shoot some rapids, or get lucky and try to shoot some birds. I almost always know (or think I know) what I am going to get when I go there, yet I almost always end up with some great shots.

Having seen some wonderful shots from the Virginia side at sunrise, I knew I had to make it out there for sunrise. I arrived about an hour before sunrise and set to trying to find a location from which to shoot. There are three overlooks on the VA side, but anyone can go there, and having seen shots taken right down by the river, I knew I had to try and find a location like that for myself. I am always wary at Great Falls because there are signs posted everywhere, letting visitors know that straying off the path is prohibited, and that it is dangerous to get too close to the river, as the rapids can and are deadly. Nevertheless, I had to try.

About 20 minutes before sunrise I finally found the spot I was looking for. Carefully I headed down to the water over the jagged rocks and found a spot I really liked about 5 minutes before the sun crested the horizon. I carefully balanced my tripod on three separate rocks at waters edge and got to shooting.

Unfortunately for me, the weather on this particular day was terrible. And I of course mean terrible from a photographers perspective, not a cloud in the sky. Realizing that I was not going to be treated to a great light show that morning, I knew my only option was to capture the light as it was first falling on the ground. This particular shot was captured moments after the sun cleared the trees and is the first light of the day hitting this particular stretch of the river.

I had a great time putting my new camera through its paces and "discovering" this spot. I hope you enjoy this image as much as I enjoyed creating it!
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:iconpjn:
pjn Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2015
Simply brilliant. One of the best water scapes I have seen.
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:iconmashuto:
Mashuto Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks so much! This was my first day with a brand new camera and lens 2 years ago.
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:iconmeema:
Meema Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Beautiful shot.
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:iconmashuto:
Mashuto Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks!
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:iconvaudano:
Vaudano Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
so nice !
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:iconmashuto:
Mashuto Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks!
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:iconosagelady:
osagelady Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Breathtaking!!!
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:iconmashuto:
Mashuto Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks!
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:iconosagelady:
osagelady Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
You're VERY welcome!!!
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:icongperkins10:
gperkins10 Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2014  Student Photographer
Hello there! Awesome photo, I am planning on going to Great Falls! I noticed that you are a Maryland photographer, as I am! I would love to have your stuff in my new group, :iconphotoexposure:, I know the members would love to see your stuff! :)
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:iconmashuto:
Mashuto Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks so much! I joined up and would certainly be happy to submit my works in the future.

Great Falls is a wonderful place, just always need to be careful, especially if you head off the paths.

One final thing though, I actually moved down to Virginia a little while ago so I am no longer technically a Maryland photographer anymore. And this picture was actually taken on the Virginia side as well.
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:icongperkins10:
gperkins10 Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2014  Student Photographer
O well, it's still a beautiful photograph!
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:iconperrydesign:
PerryDesign Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
wooow! it's so epic!
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:iconmashuto:
Mashuto Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks!
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:iconjohn-peter:
John-Peter Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
This is the kind of photo that makes me sit for a time and appreciate this beauty. The texture of the rocks, the light, colors and contrast are absolutely gorgeous. The trees in the background are a wonderful element, adding more to your composition and making the photo be special... A masterpiece!
Great work here :)
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:iconmashuto:
Mashuto Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks! This was one of those occasions where I was not blessed with the most amazing light, but I was able to pull all my skill and equipment together to create what I think is easily one of my best works.

Glad you like it too!
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:icontaorluath22:
Taorluath22 Featured By Owner May 28, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Absolutely stunning image, love the lighting, detail, composition and movement you have captured here!
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:iconmashuto:
Mashuto Featured By Owner May 29, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks so much!
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:icondevpeter:
devPeter Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Amg
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:iconmashuto:
Mashuto Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
umm, thanks?
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:icondevpeter:
devPeter Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:dummy:
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:iconshadowelve:
Shadowelve Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer

Hello :wave:

You have been featured in #SkyAndNatureClub's Best of January 2013-Feature!
Please consider giving a :+fav: to spread the word, so more people can see the feature.

Have a nice day :hug:
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:iconmashuto:
Mashuto Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks for the feature!
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:iconzanarky:
Zanarky Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Beautiful focus and natural light capture! Stunning work. I am wanting the 6D myself. Can't wait to get it!
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:iconmashuto:
Mashuto Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks! So far, especially coming from a 60D, I am loving the camera. Even though they are similar, the 6D just feels like a more solid, professional image making tool.
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:iconsilvervulpine:
SilverVulpine Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Marvelous waterscape! :)
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:iconmashuto:
Mashuto Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks!
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:iconsilvervulpine:
SilverVulpine Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
You're welcome. :)
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:iconskyberryskwerl:
SkyberrySkwerl Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Unreal o.o I can never understand how cameras make water look like this. It's incredible!
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:iconmashuto:
Mashuto Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks! Also, imagine that you use a long shutter speed, say 1 second. Now imagine how far in the frame the water moves in that 1 second, you capture the blur of that water and all the water for the whole 1 second you leave your shutter open.
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:iconjonathanjessup:
jonathanjessup Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013
Awesome image, Mashuto. It doesn't look like a typical Great Falls shot at all. Great processing (and/or filter use) too. Congrats!
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:iconmashuto:
Mashuto Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks! A little of both actually, 2 stop grad nd filter to bring down the sky a bit, and then a (light) touch of magic in post.
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:iconjonathanjessup:
jonathanjessup Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013
So you prefer to do the grad ND? I have been doing 2 exposure contrast masks and saving the cost & hassle of filters. Are there benefits using the grad ND filters? I ask as more of a rhetorical question. I'm sure there are.. I'm no equipment junkie.
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:iconmashuto:
Mashuto Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
To be honest, I like both. There are pluses and minuses to each. With the Grad ND filter, you are obviously limited to a straight line, and any object that extends past your horizon will get darkened. Exposure blending in post allows you to compensate for non straight horizons, but can often show movement artifacts.

I like both methods, but I just haven't perfected my post processing blending technique yet (or maybe I am shooting my exposures incorrectly?) so I am often not completely thrilled with the results, although in a lot of situations and with the proper technique and time, I think the results could be better. With the filter however, you get immediate feedback and can see your results right in the camera, which is very nice. I also think the filters produce a look that cant completely be replicated by post process blending, which I like a lot. Although that could just be due to my lack of skill in exposure blending.

At the end of the day, I still use my filters because I like them, and I spent a lot of money on them and want to get my moneys worth!
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:iconjonathanjessup:
jonathanjessup Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013
Yes, pluses and minuses to each. Stick with what works for you, definitely. I'll confirm that it's difficult to know what it will look like with 2exp contrast masking, even back at home. I've passed good shots up because of that, like my new Cheat River Canyon shot but there have been many others too. I do think that blending in Photoshop is more flexible and advantageous but yes it requires a lot of practice and attention to detail. For many shots it's quicker to execute, though.

I can think of one circumstance where filters are better - very long exposures (~8 minutes) like in coastal twilight shots. That's because it's not possible to shoot a separate sky shot after the 8 minutes are up, but it might work with highlights taken first. But then the sky would have a different look. I like what you are saying here.
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:iconmashuto:
Mashuto Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Very true, I think I might be lost for long exposures without the filters. Although to be honest, I think I need to get in the habit of bracketing all my shots now anyways... doesn't really make sense not to. Besides, can always do both.
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:iconlalight:
LAlight Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013  Professional Photographer
Such fantastic texture in the water, Matt. I think you did just the right thing and shot where the picture was...instead of chasing light that wasn't meant to be. Incredible first shot of the year!
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:iconmashuto:
Mashuto Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks LeeAnne! I find I always look to the sky, its a bit of a hang up at times. Glad you like it!
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:iconpanomenal:
Panomenal Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013
Perfect shutter speed. The water's appearance isn't too soft, but has a nice brushed feeling to it.
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:iconmashuto:
Mashuto Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks! Great Falls can be tricky. The water moves so quickly that its sometimes hard to know just how slow (or quick) your shutter needs to be.
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:iconjulietonnesen:
julietonnesen Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013
wow! absolutely stunning photo!
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:iconmashuto:
Mashuto Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks!
Reply
:iconelementarydearwatson:
ElementaryDearWatson Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Beautiful, utterly beautiful.
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:iconmashuto:
Mashuto Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks!
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Submitted on
January 11, 2013
Image Size
241 KB
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577×900
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Views
2,307
Favourites
245 (who?)
Comments
44
Downloads
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Camera Data

Make
Canon
Model
Canon EOS 6D
Shutter Speed
1/3 second
Aperture
F/16.0
Focal Length
26 mm
ISO Speed
100
Date Taken
Jan 5, 2013 7:55:29 AM -05:00
Software
Adobe Photoshop CS6 Windows
Sensor Size
3mm
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