View Full Version : Echo Lake, Colorado

David Stephens
08-19-2010, 04:25 PM

<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=lookatme><TH>Camera</TH><TD>Canon EOS 5D Mark II (http://www.flickr.com/cameras/canon/eos_5d_mark_ii/)</TD></TR><TR class=lookatme><TH>Exposure</TH><TD>0.017 sec (1/60)</TD></TR><TR class=lookatme><TH>Aperture</TH><TD>f/11.0</TD></TR><TR class=lookatme><TH>Focal Length</TH><TD>55 mm</TD></TR><TR><TH>ISO Speed</TH><TD>100</TD></TR><TR><TH>Exposure Bias</TH><TD>-1/3 EV</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

I used my EF 24-105mm f/4L IS and handheld this, sitting low on a rock and bracing my arms on my knees. RAW conversion was in DxO's Optics Pro, with just a very slight pull down on the middle of the RGB curve.

Echo Lake is on the drive up to Mount Evans, a 14,000 foot plus peak that you can literally drive to the peak. I was going up to Evan to shoot mountain goats and bighorn sheep and planned this stop on my way up early on a clear morning.

That one red tree has been killed by bark beatles that have devastated vast parts of the Rockies in this section. I saw an image earlier today from Rocky Mountain National Park, just a few miles North of here, where maybe 40% of the trees had been killed. Nature at work...

This forest, as you can see, is very healthy here. I hope that lone tree signifies that this area has resisted the attack and not that devastation is yet to come.

Ron Tnompson
08-19-2010, 05:02 PM
I like the color saturation in the reflection but the shadow areas on the left side seem to lack any detail in them. The one dead tree lends a different touch to the scene. Ron Thompson

Nick Palmieri
08-19-2010, 05:19 PM
I like the scene and the reflection. The shadows on the left really need to be opened up a bit. I may think about cropping a bit from the left, if it were mine I may crop from the left edge of the rock that is on the shoreline, I don't think there is much interest on that side and I don't think removing the rocky mountain top on the upper left would hurt the image. TFS

David Stephens
08-19-2010, 05:41 PM
This small 200kb limit restricts some of the detail in the shadows. Here http://www.flickr.com/photos/dcstep/4885417084/sizes/o/in/photostream/ you see more detail, but there are still some totally black areas. Are you suggesting HDR or some other technique to bring out more deep shadow detail? There's lots of dynamic range here on this clear, bright morning.

Thanks for the suggestions and comments.

Nick Palmieri
08-19-2010, 06:04 PM
Hey Dave, I likely would have shot 3 images 0, -1, +1, or more, depending on my feeling of the light at the moment... then you are sure you have all the tonal ranges and can always HDR or pseudo-HDR. If you think the detail is still there you can always select the area and just open the shadows with a levels or curves adjustment layer. Do they do anything about the beatles??

David Stephens
08-19-2010, 10:14 PM
Thanks Nick, I should start thinking about that more.

Unfortunately there's nothing to be done about the beatles. Hundreds of thousands of trees have been lost and the fire danger is much higher, even in wet years. Just like fire, it'll probably stregthen the forest in the long haul. Imagine looking at my shot, but 40% of the trees look like that one That's how bad it is in some parts.

Robert Amoruso
08-20-2010, 08:10 AM
I agree with Nick's crop suggestion. I like the composition with the strong "V" shapes in the sky to mountain and its reflection. I think the crop will strengthen that.

I also agree on the suggestion for multiple exposures for the reasons mentioned.

The image needs a CCW to straighten the shoreline and overall the image needs to be sharpened.

David Stephens
08-20-2010, 08:43 AM
Help me with the horizon. I used the tallest tree in the center of the picture and its reflection as my reference. The far shoreline angles some and then takes a sharp angle to the right front where the V comes together.

I know that the eye wants that far shore level, but isn't it more important to get that tree in the middle vertical? (The fact that it curves a bit as it goes up doesn't help).

Thanks for all the valuable help. I've been too casual in my approach to scenics and this feedback will help me tighten things up.

Roman Kurywczak
08-20-2010, 09:37 AM
Hey David,
Good advice given above and I went with the 1.3 degrees of CCW rotation ( line up the reflections vertically......trees line but the reflection and tree should line up)......and then cropped. This strengthens the comp for me overall......glad you minimized the sky as it was uninteresting and just keep in mind that if you include that much FG.......try to get an interesting element to anchor it. Just some things to keep in mind for next time out. Let me know your thoughts too!

David Stephens
08-20-2010, 01:39 PM
Thank you Roman, I agree that is stronger. I picked this cloudless day because I was mainly going here to shoot mountain goats a little higher up the road. With nothing in the sky, I pulled the focus down lower.

Anyway, thanks to everyone. This feedback has been invaluable and has me thinking more specifically about the elements of good scenic photography. I'll keep trying.