Rickett’s Glen … RAW

After our trip to Jacoby Falls last weekend I was anxious to scope our next destination. The work week was looming and nasty, wet, weather was on the horizon. We both needed to get out to somewhere without asphalt. We had passed Rickett’s Glen State Park several times before on trips east and had always wanted to stop but, of course (thanks to my unnatural need to be on time) never had. Rickett’s Glenn is just this side of Wilkes-Barre, no more than two hours away. It is locally known for its waterfalls and, in particular, boasts no fewer than twenty-two named formations. The park is a National Natural Landmark. We got hold of a few maps and were off by six on Saturday morning. That would put us on the Falls Trail by eight … a good time for the morning light and, hopefully, well before the throngs of hikers I was expecting on this first warm Saturday of spring. Official park information reads, in part, The Falls Trail is closed in winter except for properly equipped ice climbers and hikers. The spring equinox occurred on March 20, more than two weeks ago. That fact notwithstanding we were greeted at the trail head by a sign which read Falls Trail closed due to icy conditions. Properly equipped climbers with ropes and crampons must register at Park Office. In disbelief we considered our options … (1) Wait a half hour until the office opened and attempt to sweet talk the ranger into letting us on the trail, (2) Register at the office (without saying anything about the equipment we did not have) and walk the trail, (3) Walk the trail without registering at the office, (4) Drive to the main road and make the short hike to Adam’s Falls. We opted for number four. Because my expectations had been so high in anticipation of more than twenty falls … I had little hope that Adam’s Falls was going to be able to salvage the journey for me. Much to my surprise, however, I was wrong … the single falls was beautiful and flowing nicely with spring runoff. And therein is the end of the second half of the story from Saturday. The first half is much shorter. Joanna finally lay down the law and announced that she would not accompany me on the journey to Rickett’s Glen unless I set the D600 to record images in camera RAW only. I posted quite some time ago about the significance of RAW digital image files; in short, these contain the raw and unprocessed data collected by the camera’s image sensor. Other file formats, such as JPEG for example, are processed by the camera and this results in the loss of digital information. Although RAW files cannot be viewed and printed as may images stored in other formats, they can more effectively be processed by computer software such Adobe Lightroom 4. For a number of not very good reasons I have resisted the wholesale move from JPEG to RAW. The image below was taken in RAW format and then processed using Lightroom … I hope you approve the final result.


18 thoughts on “Rickett’s Glen … RAW

    • Good morning Charlie … and thanks very much for the ‘thumbs up.’ My photography is a work in progress It’s fluid and continues to evolve. Because most other photographers seem to have carved out neat little areas within which to take photos, their niche if you will, I feel as though I ought to have one too … but I don’t. One day it’s a landscape, another day it’ll be one or another thing. I don’t seem to be able to find my genre .. my thing .. my specialty. Some photograph people, some concentrate on flowers, others do seascapes. I don’t feel comfortable pegging myself as a photographer of all things. I’m still searching. The positive feedback you’ve provided helps lots. Really. Thank … and thanks for taking the time to push the reply button. D

  1. Thanks for this post – I was ignorant about the RAW format! I noticed the blurred waterfalls – but, above all, the image seems “very three-dimensional” to me.

  2. Well, I approve, for whatever that’s worth. I like the long exposure. The light worked really well for you too. I agree with Joanna. RAW is the way to go. Will your camera record both?

    • Thanks for the vote of support George. Yeah … the D600 will record both at the same time but then I thought I’d have a logistical nightmare trying to keep RAW and JPEG separate … and then I’d have to purchase beefier memory cards … and on and on. At this point I’m pretty comfortable with the idea that when I want to take images on vacation or at a birthday party I’ll take along the point-n-click and do JPEG … when I’m out ‘working’ I’ll do RAW! Spring is finally here for real … we’ll be near 70 today! D

  3. This is gorgeous, I love the atmosphere you’ve captured, and I always think the slow shutter speed makes for a slightly enchanted look to a water photo. Beautiful colours, and a lovely story about why option 2 or even 4 might turn out to be better than the original plan 🙂

  4. Really beautiful – it reminds me of another season, such as summer. Sounds like it a was a fun outing, and you learned something new. A success!

  5. This is a beautiful image. It does, however, strike me as having been manipulated. Particularly in the area of the water. Correct me if I’m wrong! The family genes of wanting to be on time were passed on to me too! 🙂

    • The waterfall itself is blurred and appears to be smoothed because of the very long exposure used when taking the original image. I stood in a small gorge and, given the time of day, there wasn’t much light. I’d have to check but I’m pretty sure I used something like a 5 second exposure … and this has the effect of blurring the moving water (so it looks sort of like Cotton Candy). As a matter of fact, the water was retouched very little if at all. Mostly I worked with color balance and exposure in parts of the remainder of the image. D

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