Thursday, July 16, 2020

Soft Yet Fire-y Sunrise

This dramatic sunrise was taken in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. It was quite unusual to see both soft pinks with a backdrop of fire-y orange and yellow tones.

Admittedly I have enhanced the colors quite a bit in Lightroom. Generally I do not go quite so far in making modifications in post-processing, but I felt this image needed some punching in order to convey the sense of drama I felt when viewing the scene. I would not enter this in any nature-based photo competitions since the modifications take this image well beyond the actual look of the scene. But for artistic purposes, in order to convey the feel of the place, I was OK going a bit overboard with artistic license.

When using software to improve the look of images, it is all too easy to go too far. Over-sharpening and over-saturating are common pitfalls, especially when entering images into competition. Normally all you want to do is to bring the RAW image close to what the scene actually looked like. But there are times, as in this case, when your personal decision is to add drama and mood to an image.

Since photography is essentially a communication device, there are times when communicating YOUR take on the image outweighs the general rule to preserve the actual look of the scene. It is best to choose your battles, and not add extreme drama to all your images. But for those images that can be made more powerful in order to communicate your message, you should feel comfortable going farther than normal.

1.3 seconds at f/22, ISO 800. Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS II lens set at 76mm on Canon 5D Mark III body. Gitzo tripod with Really Right Stuff BH-55 ballhead.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love."  --Marcus Aurelius

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