First Light

The clouds that frame the scene caught my attention and make it a special memory for me.

Specific Feedback Requested

Are the light clouds in the sunrise too bright? Any and all other suggestions appreciated.

Technical Details

1 Like

Hi Patricia! Yes, I do think the clouds are too bright (they’re blown out), but I don’t fault you since shooting directly into the sun is difficult. I think the most important technical consideration when shooting such a scene is to try not to blow your highlights when you’re exposing, as with today’s cameras (at low ISOs) you can usually lift the shadows in post quite easily to compensate. That said, you’ll always be blowing out the sun and any clouds directly in front of it if you’re framing a wider scene like this, so don’t worry about that too much - just try to minimize the blown out areas and make sure they don’t extend too far from the sun.

Now, for the composition - I feel as though the top 1/4 of the frame is a bit redundant, as the main sweep of clouds is located closer to the center and then we’ve just got essentially empty gray space up there. By cropping down further, you could shift attention more toward the intended subject, the shorelines and the setting sun. Right now there’s so much extra space that they get lost.

You could also try cropping even further and losing the entire right shoreline, since it feels a bit disconnected with how little of it is included. What I’m really suggesting is thinking about what it is you’re aiming to convey with your photograph, and to simplify the composition to exclude elements and areas that don’t support that subject. It feels like the subject here gets lost due to relatively empty or insignificant areas pulling attention and space in the frame away.

I hope this is helpful!