Cobbles and Color

When photographing sunrise on Cobble Beach in Acadia NP most photographers try to use a wider view to incorporate more in the scene (myself included). For this particular image I wanted something a bit more intimate and went with just the cobble stones and the warm color of the sunrise reflected in the waters of the Atlantic.

As always I appreciate you taking the time to take a look and leave a comment or suggestion.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

All C&C welcome

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

All C&C welcome

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

(If this is a composite, etc. please be honest with your techniques to help others learn)
Nikon D800, Nikon 17-35 @ 35 mm, f 18 @ 4 sec, ISO 100, cable release & tripod

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You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.
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Original take on the sunrise and very nicely done. I love the rosy light reflecting on the round stones, and the softness of the water. Excellent…no suggestions.

Ed, this is a very fresh and interesting take on Cobble Beach. Kudos for being willing to experiment and try something different than the usual take on this location. The light in the water and the highligths on the rocks is really sweet. My only nit is that it looks a little dark on my monitor, and it may benefit from a slight increase in luminosity (especially in the rocks).

Beautiful, Ed. Great warm color and light and a fine mood to the image. Processing looks spot on to my eye. Real sweet.


What a glorious sunrise this must have been to witness - And it must have taken some guts (for lack of a better word) to leave the wide angle in the bag and go for the more intimate. Kudos for doing so!

This works beautifully as presented. The one stone with the brightest reflected color works pretty well for a resting spot for the eye. What I like the best is the intersection and interaction between the water and the stones, and the long shutter speed ghosting effect. And to that end, I can see a nice pano crop that emphasizes that interaction. As presented it’s pretty close to a 50/50 comp - so is it the sunset reflection on the water? or the stones. And for me, it’s that middle ground that holds most all the interest. Lot’s of possibilities - even a potential vertical pano crop…

Beautifully captured no matter how you slice it.


This is a beautiful photo Ed, as is. I also experimented with Lon’s crop suggestion and like it equally as well with some of the sky cropped out.

Beautiful image, Ed. I agree with @Lon_Overacker - I don’t think I would have had the presence of mind to skip the wide angle. Processing looks good to me. Doing some screen crops I think I prefer the framing with a bit off the bottom - removing the dry stones without any light reflecting.

Many thanks to @Kathy_Barnhart, @Ed_McGuirk, @Harley_Goldman, @Lon_Overacker, @Tony_Siciliano and @Dave_Dillemuth to leave a comment or suggestion; always appreciated. Here is a repost with your suggestions. I lightened the midtones slightly and cropped a little from the top and bottom.
@Lon_Overacker and @Dave_Dillemuth: I am not that brave. :grinning: I had been trying to get a couple of images like this for the last couple of years and the opportunity never presented itself until my last visit.

I actually had the 17-35 zoomed out to 35 for this image and just cropped a little from the top. I later zoomed in to 22-25 for a couple of images to catch a wider view. My original thinking was that I did not want to take the time changing lenses so I just went with the 17-35 with the idea that I could crop and still have a decent file size with the D800.

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I like the original post best, but the repost also works.

I actually spent some time cropping and recropping your original when I first saw it but never came up with anything satisfactory. Yes, the sunny outline of the rocks is the big draw but so is the sun reflections on the upper right. I would not have cropped from the left like that. Part of the charm was the color change from left to right and now that’s largely gone.

I like your original crop best, with Igor’s a close second. I’m not sure about cropping from the top (your second crop), as it takes away too much of the beautiful reflection on the water. In any case, the repeated reflections on the pebbles/cobbles and the good detail on their dark sides are very beautifully rendered.

Thanks for your thoughts @Harley_Goldman, @Igor_Doncov and @Alberto_Patino-Douce; they are always appreciated. I am still partial to the original post just for the reasons you mentioned.

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