View Full Version : Laguna de Santa Rosa

Diane Miller
02-11-2014, 06:08 PM
We finally got some much-needed rain here. This is an area that floods naturally with heavy rains and then slowly releases the water into the flood-prone Russian River, to help mitigate flooding. Once or twice a year there is a rain heavy enough to flood it to the right level for good photography, followed by a clear night that will allow ground fog to form. By tomorrow the level will be marginally low, and it will probably be cloudy instead of ground fog.

Canon 5D Mk III, 70-200 f/2.8 at 70. Big Gitzo with Wimberley II. ISO 1600 (should have been lower), f/9.5 1/500 sec. Full frame. Basic LR adjustments then to PS CS6 for some darkening of the highlights and lightening of the shadows, with Nik Detail Extractor, set not to give so much detail as just a slight shadow-highlight balance.

The horizon looks slightly curved but it's an effect of the trees on the right and left being a little closer than the ones in the middle. I always debate about fixing it but it isn't really possible because it isn't really curved -- there is a discontinuity on both sides.

David Stephens
02-11-2014, 06:38 PM
Wow. Magical combination of dead-still water, fog, clear sky, reflections, subtle pastel colors and perfectly balanced composition. The only thing I'd to change is to put it in at least a 50" print to see how that looks.

Norm Dulak
02-11-2014, 06:44 PM
There is beauty in the subtlety of this image. It is delicate and lovely.

David Kenny
02-11-2014, 07:38 PM
Well done. The lighting in the sky and the fog really add to the drama of this photo. I am a big fan of reflection photos when they are done right.

- Dave

Don Railton
02-11-2014, 11:12 PM
Wonderful mood Diane... Obviously knowing your subject has paid off well here.. Well done.


Diane Miller
02-11-2014, 11:40 PM
Thanks, guys! Forgot to mention, the lack of a breeze is an important factor here (as you can see), and not to be counted on. And I was the only photographer there this morning. The sad part is, the water levels are on the internet, updated with a graph hourly. (Something about local water resource or flood management or the like.) And the automated hourly weather report from the local airport is recorded 3 miles away and available with a phone call. The place should be mobbed on a good morning, as conditions are different every time.

Two women stopped by, separately, just after the sun was above that fog bank too much for a controllable tonal range, and made quick point-and-shoot shots and raced off, apparently on the way to work. That happens every time I'm there. Wonder if it's always the same two...

Rachel Hollander
02-12-2014, 10:39 AM
Hi Diane - very well done. Thanks for the explanation on the horizon, before reading it my initial impression was it needed a slight rotation. Your familiarity with the location paid off.


02-12-2014, 08:41 PM
Very Nice, Diane. In fact, about perfect, the reflection is nicer than the real thing.

Luis Patacao
02-13-2014, 05:04 AM
Hi Diane, i don`t have much to add to the previous answers except that is very nice, the composition, the reflecction with the fog making a pit stop of excellence. The only suggestion i can give and i would have tried it here was a Long exposure.. with a set like this and a still water i believe the result would be great, IMO.

David Stephens
02-13-2014, 10:51 AM
Luis, with the still water, why do you think a long exposure might help this image? I usually think of that as a technique to smooth waves or moving water, so I'm surprised to see it suggests for still water.

Luis Patacao
02-13-2014, 12:06 PM
Luis, with the still water, why do you think a long exposure might help this image? I usually think of that as a technique to smooth waves or moving water, so I'm surprised to see it suggests for still water.

David with the still water and Long Exposure, u get a kind of icy lake with a smooth reflection.. I have a example of this on my flickr, a BW picture of a wreck boat (http://www.flickr.com/photos/patacao/9601351613/) In this case i waited specifically for the absence of wind to get that look in the water.

Diane Miller
02-13-2014, 12:33 PM
Thanks, everyone! I never thought of a long exposure here, either, but I hope I can think of it the next time there -- it's a great idea to try adding just a bit of magic, and especially when there is a slight breeze. It doesn't take much moving air to spoil the smooth look of the water, and there is always a slow current there.

David Stephens
02-13-2014, 04:09 PM
Thank you for the nice response Luis. I'll have to try it as one of my exposures when next faced with the option.

David Stephens
02-13-2014, 04:11 PM
Sorry Luis, but Flickr isn't showing full EXIF data on the example you linked us to. Could you provide summary EXIF?

Luis Patacao
02-21-2014, 11:58 AM
HI David, sorry for the late response but i only saw this now. I normally tend to "minimize" EXIF for the web galeries, and i can tell you that the exposure time was between 1 and 2 minutes but i will confirm this later in the raw file.

Cheryl Slechta
02-25-2014, 04:05 PM
Hi, Diane, very late commenting but I love both Laguna images (and the one you posted in OOTB:S3:). I probably prefer the vertical but both are lovely.

Morkel Erasmus
03-01-2014, 06:07 AM
I'm late to this one, Diane. Love the mood and vertical framing.
I might go a tad darker in the blacks - thus a hint more contrast?