Mostly a photoblog

Sunrise Reflections #1

Sunrise Reflection 1 - saturated color

Sunrise Reflection 1 - black and white

Starting a new series focusing on reflections.  This shot in highly saturated color and also black and white with a red filter was taken at the Gallup Park on the Huron River in Ann Arbor, Michigan, this morning.  Nikon D80, Nikkor 50mm, f/9, 1/10 second, ISO 100.  By the way, the first shot looks like HDR, but it’s actually a single image.  The sky came out great, but as you might expect the shadows were very heavy in the foreground.  I reduced the shadows as much as possible, lowered the highlights a little.  boosted the contrast, warmed the tones up slightly, and raised the saturation (didn’t take much to get a big effect).  I did get a bit of a fuzzy halo around the tree reflected in the water, so I cropped the tree to remove that from the image.   I actually prefer the symmetry of the original composition, but I didn’t like the fuzzy halo around the tree.  The world is full of compromises, I suppose.  On a related note, I ordered a graduated neutral density filter today.

For fun, I added the original composition below.  And below that is the image how came it straight out of the camera.  When I took this photo I originally intended it to provide the sunset sunrise for an HDR image – I never expected to post it by itself.  But after I started playing with it I realized there was actually a lot of data in the image, and was able to “salvage” something interesting.  The black and white image above is literally just the highly saturated color one you see here converted to black and white with a red filter.

Sunrise Reflections 1 - Original Composition

Sunrise Reflections 1 - Straight out of camera


6 responses

  1. It’s great shot with lovely colours, and for me it’s definitely the colour version that makes it stand out. But I agree with you that the original framing with the full reflection is better. To avoid the halo around the reflected tree you could try to make a much tighter mask so the lighting up doesn’t affect the water, only tree. You could also reduce the shadows a little less, that would make the hallo less visible. Anyway it’s great that you show the whole process from the original picture to the final pick. Which is lovely.

    March 25, 2012 at 4:33 am

    • Thanks so much for thoughtful comment and advice! At the moment, I generally use Windows Live Photo Gallery for the post-processing. It’s remarkably powerful and easy to use for a free download, and it’s great for organizing and it will post straight to FB, Flickr, SkyDive, etc. So, I like it – except for one thing: you can’t select portions of the image to apply edits to…i.e., no masks. And on an image like this that limitation is very constraining.

      Net-net, I need to find a new tool. I appreciate thoughts on what to get to for a more capable editing tool that is fairly easy to learn and won’t break the bank. :)

      March 25, 2012 at 8:36 am

      • I am not sure if you are asking for the impossible with a both easy to learn and inexpensive editing tool. Photoshop is the best, but doesn’t meet any of the requirements. I would give Lightroom a try (you can test it out for free for a month). It doesn’t have masks as such, but still gives you nice possibilities to local and relative precise adjustments.

        March 25, 2012 at 2:47 pm

      • Thanks again for your advice! I’ve been putting it off, but I clearly have some research and a learning curve ahead. :)

        March 25, 2012 at 9:11 pm

  2. I love both versions. I also appreciate you showing the before and afters. Lately I have found myself enjoying editing my pictures equally as much as shooting them. And for my two cent worth, I second Lightroom as an amazing photo editor… My suggestion would be wait to buy it because V4 is coming out in a few months and anything adobe isn’t cheap. Anywho… keep posting amazing pictures.

    March 27, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    • Thanks for that advice! And thank you for visiting, too!

      March 28, 2012 at 9:08 pm