Morning at Devoe Lake


I took this picture at Devoe Lake in Rifle River State Recreation Area located in Lupton, MI. It is a true wilderness area, which is rare for the lower peninsula, and I was hoping to convey that with this image.

Specific Feedback Requested:

This would be part of my postcards from state parks series. Do you think it is a little too moody for a postcard? Should I focus more on bright, well lit, vibrant scenes?
Overall comments are also always welcome.

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

Nikon Z 6ii, Nikkor Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR, ISO 100, 200mm, f/32 1/100 sec
I used Luminar Neo to do the following: remove a ton of dust spots, adjust light and color, Accent AI and Sky Enhancer AI


This is a very beautiful, serene scene, Matthew. I’m not sure about a postcard. I personally think it needs to be on a bigger canvas to truly appreciate it and see the beauty of it. Great composition and it does look like a beautiful wilderness.

No I think it is tranquil and speaks to the quiet that people are often seeking when they come to a state park. One thing that might occur to people from the Upper Midwest or other rural areas is that this could be on a very densely populated lake. We don’t automatically know or think this is in a true Wilderness. Folks in states without so many lakes might think that they are mostly all remote and rural and wild, but it isn’t the case. So with that in mind, you might also focus on the amentias that the individual parks have in terms of getting people connected to the nature they want to find. Good roads, parking, camping, water, bathrooms, playgrounds, boat launches, disabled access, fishing, dog parks - that kind of thing. Otherwise, they could wind up all look and feel the same.

Thanks! I can see where you are coming from with the larger canvas. I might have to give it a try.

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Definitely something to think about. These pictures were taken from the beach of a 50 site rustic campground, but you would never guess it from the picture. The lake is completely within the park boundaries, so it is an accurate depiction of the shoreline, but, as you point out, there is definitely more to the story.
Almost all Michigan lakes have a developed and an undeveloped section, so portraying how much is developed poses an interesting problem. Something I will consider when composing my future shots. Actually, even with this shoot, most of my pictures were of the opposite shore since the sun was lighting it better, but, upon reviewing them, they looked like they could have been taken from pretty much any inland lake. I think this one gives more of a sense of the place.
Thanks for the feedback!

Beautiful photo Matthew - I really love the composition and painterly feel.

One very minor nit-pick: I find the horizontal streaks in clouds in the top 1/8 or so of the frame a little distracting.

I’m no expert in such things but I speculate that this photo’s more subdued and tranquil colour scheme might help it standout among its more vibrant peers on the postcard rack. Personally I’d be very happy to find something like this in postcard format although I agree with @Vanessa_Hill that it would be easier to appreciate in a larger format.

Hi again Matthew! I just saw your other post and read that you are doing a postcard series where you send them to people. That changes everything! Even though I still think this would look great big, now I can see that it would make a good postcard for how you intend it. I was picturing it in one those postcard carousels in a crowded gift shop trying to get attention in the midst of all the moose, covered bridges and waterfalls post cards! :slight_smile: But as a subscription series I think this would work really well.

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I think this might look good as a postcard. The WB seems off to me. You might try using a cooler white balance.

I also find this tranquil with the fog and still water. Overall I find it quite pleasing. I agree that the white balance might be a bit too warm–the sky seems like it should be a bit more blue.

Overall I find this image very appealing. Technically it is very good , and would look good printed large.

My only critique is this:

A ha! I got ya!

The image is fine. Moody, interesting good light etc.

The only thing to think about in the larger context of your postcards from the state series is: what are you trying to show?

The beauty and grandeur of the landscapes (of the parks)?

Are you trying to sell people on how much fun they’ll have? (More color saturation, action shots of people enjoying the park etc.)

Totally different shots, totally different techniques.

Again, great shot!

I think you and @DeanRoyer are correct. Here is a corrected image. Thanks!

First off, thank you for your kind words. To answer your question, I would say my focus is on the beauty and grandeur of the landscapes. However, I think some parks are designed more for fun, so I am hoping to capture the feel of the park – with an emphasis on the natural elements.

My eye was drawn to those as well. I didn’t do anything that would have added them, so they must have been part of the sky.

I have to say, I kinda like the warmer version. I was actually going to recommend warming it up even more. :slightly_smiling_face:

Both are great as is and would make great postcards.



A beautiful image in it’s own right - postcard discussion or not! My response on that is that of course it would work as a postcard. It’s a beautiful image and representative of what one might experience at this location. Postcards can include anything, including activities with people, iconic features, etc. etc. Beauty and solitude are also features folks look for when going to our state parks.

I liked the warmer version, but was going to comment that the color balance in the mountain layers looks a little green. I like the warmth on the water with the rising mist and reflection so perhaps some targeted adjustments on the WB. The color balance of the repost might be accurate, but it also not only changes the mood, but also makes it feel like it was taken later in the day. I think something in between the two… but not sure how much time you’re wanting to do when creating a series… :slight_smile:


Nice one! My only issue is that the color of the sky feels muted or off in comparison to the color of the fog. Both feel purposely desaturated and I don’t necessarily like that it feels that way (to me). You were there though so perhaps that was actually how it felt to you! :wink: