170430 Best Photo Ever - matthew piers robertson • photography writing creative toronto

This might be the best photo I've ever taken of Niagara Falls. There's not really much to taking the photo, but I had to spend a lot of time to work through it. It's from the lower observation deck that I've never been to before – $19.95, sold separately – and that lower deck really does provide an amazing viewpoint.

Another candidate for Best Photo Ever, this one was taken from a slightly different part of the same place. This exposure took one third of a second, using a mere three-stop ND filter and an aperture of f/16. Slow waterfalls are always a hit.

Once more, with feeling. This nearly-identical photo was taken with a 10-stop filter for a seven second exposure, and is uncropped to give those with an eye for a 35mm-e lens a sense of scale. That's not noise on the edges of the frame, but water droplets, which also account for the overall softness. The camera may have gotten a little wet.

And here's the more conventional top-level view as my final Best Photo Ever candidate. It's actually a slight panorama that was made from two different images that had both missed the framing that I wanted, creating an image 2.7% wider than a single frame – my habit of composition bracketing paid off. Exposure time was about eighteen seconds each.


These photos were fun, and I made a sincere effort to take them. But part of the point of doing that – aside from genuinely trying to take the best tourist photos in the history of Niagara Falls – was to get them out of my system so that I could work past them and see other things on my next visit. I'm not sure any of that was successful, but it was worth a shot.


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