View Full Version : Dawn at the Overlook

Mike Landwehr
12-20-2011, 09:50 PM
Dawn from the Snake River Overlook, in the Tetons. Used a PS gradient on the top half to balance the light, just a touch of saturation (+8), and Topaz Adjust Detail-Medium preset. No crop. Sized and very slight USM. Any C & C appreciated.

Sigma 12-24 @ 24 mm
ISO 200
.8 sec at f/18

Joe Senzatimore
12-22-2011, 08:00 AM
Stunning sky and composition. Overall seems a bit flat. Perhaps a contrast boost??

Morkel Erasmus
12-22-2011, 03:08 PM
A stunning view in great light with a beautiful sky...:5
I do feel this is screaming out for more "oomph" as posted. In this repost I added some saturation, some midtone contrast and also some local contrast enhancement (see Robert's sticky in the main Landscape forum at the top).

What do you think?

Mike Landwehr
12-22-2011, 04:00 PM
Thanks for the repost, Morkel. You've added a lot of "punch" to the image. The resulting image has much more appealing. I'll probably follow your lead, and make similar changes to the image before printing.

The repost does raise a bit of a dilemma I've faced before, when photographing landscapes in the low light of early morning. That image was taken about two minutes before first light hit the tops of the peaks. So, the mountains, the valley floor, and the foreground trees, were not sunlit. The scene was low in contrast, and anything but bright. With the equipment and software we now have available to us, it's relatively easy to "brighten up" such a scene, as I did to some extent with my original post, and as you did even more, with your repost. The result is an image much more likely to please most viewers. But, as we brighten up the scene, we move further and further from the reality of what I saw that morning. Both my post, and to a greater extent, your repost, and more pleasing to the eye--but they don't reflect what the scene looked like that morning. I guess I'm struggling a bit with the dilemma of whether to present an image that is more realistic, or an image that is more appealing. Or whether there is a way to address both concerns. Is that an issue that neophytes struggle with, or am I just creating a dilemma where none should exist. I'd be very interested in your thoughts, Morkel, and how you handle the situation when processing low-light landscapes.

Robert Amoruso
12-22-2011, 04:43 PM

Your dilemma is (a) should I make this image as a documentation of the scene before me or (b) create this image as I envision it in my mind's eye - see and feeling it with your heart and emotions.

You must decide what is your goal and then execute it. Departing from reality is not a problem, photography is an art form. Nearly all landscape photographers that I read approach this question as one of what I am trying to achieve and then use the photographic tools at our disposal to achieve that pre-visualized image. If it departs from reality - so be it.

When I looked at this image yesterday (did not have time to post), first thing I thought was more contrast and more saturation. The wondrous thing about our eyes, is that they do this automatically. The camera records data which we in turn translate back into our image - my point being it probably had more contrast then your OP.

I would lower the yellow saturation in Morkel's repost.

Mike Landwehr
12-22-2011, 10:04 PM
Robert, you address the question eloquently, and with reason. Thanks for your feedback, and your advice.