Blue Hour

I took this photo just about this time last year down at our local lake. I love this time of the morning, it is so quiet and peaceful. I did do some post processing. Mostly removed a sign and a few annoying telephone poles. Also burned out a few of the lights in the small town across the lake.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

It is not as sharp as I would like, any suggestions?

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

I did enhance the sunrise a bit, too much?

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

Nikon D7200, f/20, 1S0 100, .77sec., 16-80mm@42mm

Any and all comments, suggestions are encouraged and welcome.
Thank you
(If this is a composite, etc. please be honest with your techniques to help others learn)

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A beautiful pre-sunrise image, Linda. The colors look fine to me and I love the shape of the tree. As for sharpness, to my eye the tree looks sharp. I don’t know of anything you can do at this point, but read up on hyperfocal distances (that distance from the camera at which everything is supposedly in focus for a given aperture and focal length) If your setup satisfies that, then it’s just a matter of making sure your have a good sturdy tripod and using a timer or remote release. I rarely do this kind of photography, so I’m far from an expert, but I’ve also heard that you don’t want to trust the “infinity” focus setting on your lens, so you need to figure out in decent light where “infinity” is sharpest and mark it. The people who shoot starscapes seem to have excellent advice on this issue.

Thanks Dennis. I just finished an article about hyperfocal distance and all of the variables involved. Don’t have the means to get all the fancy equipment, but the article did talk about how to take and stack the photo to accomplish the same thing. Since this was taken last year, I did not apply that method, but I’m anxious to be able to go back (park is currently closed) and try out this method. Appreciate your taking the time to comment.

Linda, the colors and the shapes are lovely and very inviting. The tree is nicely sharp, so the touch of softness in the clouds is the kind of thing that many wouldn’t notice. With star shots, you can look through the viewfinder to get infinity sharp. However, I had a problem shooting a nighttime thunder storm where I wanted to go to a long shutter to catch the lightning but could only see black through the viewfinder. I got a shot with 5 strokes of lightning but it was badly out of focus :grimacing: since I was guessing about the focus. With modern zooms, that don’t stop turning when you focus on infinity, it’s not clear to me how you set the focus unless you do it in advance and then don’t touch the lens… Does you camera have a depth-of-field preview? It looks like there was enough light here for that to work.

Thanks again Dennis. Just wanted to let you know I did go out today to the same location (but different lighting requirements) and experimented with taking several photo (focusing on foreground, mid and “infinity”) then brought them into Photoshop and stacked them. Think it worked fairly well but I definitely need more practice. Thanks again.

T;hanks for your thoughts and comments Mark. I do have depth-of-field preview, but must admit, I don’t use it real often. Definitely need to work with that more. Thanks again.

A beautiful scene, Linda. That time of the morning in a place like this would be a nice quiet place to visit and photograph. I don’t get to shoot many shots like this, especially anymore, so I can’t really help you, but sounds like you got some good advice above already.

Thanks Shirley. I did indeed get some excellent advise and clearly the key is practice, practice and practice some more. This photo was taken last year about this time and I am like you in that I don’t get a chance to get out at this time very often. And now they have closed the park. So on to other images/challenges. Thanks again… . .and take care.

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This is just a lovely tranquil scene Linda! I especially like the color and light of pre-dawn, very well done!

Thank you Keith, appreciate your comments.