67 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrast

        1. That’s very kind of you to say. Sometimes when a photo of mine gets this kind of response I’m completely taken by surprise. I don’t think this is false modesty, I know it’s a good photo, I’m just surprised that others find it that good. I do tend to be my own harshest critic though.

          1. Yes, I know what you mean about being your own harshest critic. Still, I’m glad you are getting the recognition. You deserve it. You really do make quite stunningly beautiful photographs.

            And see? Everyone else agrees!! πŸ™‚

    1. Ok Rick, pull up a chair. I’ll give you a quick rundown here, but I really like the “anatomy of a photograph” idea so I’ll be giving you credit for my very next blog post.

      First for the gear freaks, the original raw file was captured with my trusty Canon 40D and ProMaster branded Tamron 17-50 f2.8. All mounted on a Gitzo GT-2541 Mountaineer tripod. I also used a HiTech 3 stop (.9) NDGrad filter.

      Manual mode, which I’m using more and more over AV, 21mm @ f11, 1/100 of a second, iso 100.

      My editing starts in Lightroom 3 where I’ll set my blacks, and make any exposure, highlight and white balance corrections I need. Then, as with almost every image I find worthy of sharing, they go through Nik Color Efex Pro 3.0.

      My most frequently used, and favorite, filters in CEP are the Brilliance and Warmth filter, settings vary by image, and then the Tonal Contrast filter, again, settings vary.

      Call me a lazy post processer, but I make full use of plug-ins and presets to achieve the results I have in mind when I click the shutter. BUT, and it is a big but, if I don’t feel the original capture is worth the time, good bye, see ya, let me introduce you to Mr. Delete. I don’t save much of anything that I know will never see the light of day.
      While I do take every advantage of the software I have, I don’t believe in the “fix it in Photoshop” mentality. Software is there to complete my vision, not correct my screw-ups.

      You’ve given me a great idea for my next blog entry, where I’ll have before and after for each step of the way.

      1. Great shot of a sunset Jeff. Your final comment is what I’d like to see. What the photo looked like in the beginning and just what the changes you made did. Convince me I need Lightroom to improve my shots. Where is this, Baxter Lake?

        1. Actually it is the Bellamy Reservoir in Madbury/Dover. This was taken from the side of French Cross Rd. in Dover. I just about could have had one hand on the camera and one hand on the guardrail.

    1. Thank you Jude. This is a great little spot that I drive by every day. With the mild winter we’ve been having, I knew once I saw how much open water there was, I had to stop soon or there would be too much open water for the photograph I wanted.

  1. Just in case I missed anyone, and for any future visitors, I really appreciate all the kind words and compliments on my photographs.

    I can’t thank you all enough!

    1. Thank you, I’m glad you like it.

      Yes I did use an ND grad, three stop to be exact, but not sure which smooth line you are referring to. The transition between the ice and open water, or the horizon?

      The “starburst” effect is a result of a small aperture. The smaller the aperture the more pronounced the effect, the more wide open you shoot the less of an effect you get. The one big ray/reflection of the sun is from setting the camera low to the ground. If you want to get good reflections of the sky, the far shoreline, whatever, as they say in limbo, “how low can you go?” I can’t tell you how many pairs of pants have that have at least one worn out knee from getting low with my camera πŸ™‚ Maybe I should start bringing knee pads.

    1. Thank you Patti. It’s comments like yours that let me know I’m on the right track with my photography. It is always a pleasure when someone else likes one of my photos. Something I never get tired of or take for granted. I truly appreciate every positive comment I get.

  2. Love it! The composition is perfect. There is so much going on in this scene but the colors and flow make it peaceful at the same time. You make it look effortless πŸ™‚

Comments and thoughtful critiques are always welcome.

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