Morning Glory

Image Description

Had been up all night shooting the Milky Way about 80 miles to the east - freezing cold weather. On the way back, as we crossed the Chipola River, we saw this scene unfolding. We stopped as none of us ever like regretting the one we didn’t go back for.

Type of Critique Requested

  • Aesthetic: Feedback on the overall visual appeal of the image, including its color, lighting, cropping, and composition.

  • Conceptual: Feedback on the message and story conveyed by the image.

  • Technical: Feedback on the technical aspects of the image, such as exposure, color, focus and reproduction of colors and details, post-processing, and print quality.

Specific Feedback and Self-Critique

I did use the TK Make it Glow tool and his Spotlight to add a bit more drama to the foreground lighting of the cypress stumps. This was my first foray into mirrorless and it lived up to the hype.

May have overdone the processing, Opinions?

Technical Details

Nikon Z7 II, Tokina 17-35 @ 29mm, f/7.1, 1/640, ISO 640

ACR for preliminary adjustments, PS in conjunction with TK 8, filters and masks. What I have discovered about the Z7 is how well it handles high ISO’s. Earlier shot the MW at ISO 5600 and 8000 with the same lens @ f/4 and though there was noise, it was far less than I would have ever guessed.

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Very nice capture. Worth chasing. It looks like it could be slightly rotated CW… if you have the real estate to play with. Hey, will you be posting any milky way shots?

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It took some very difficult dinking with to get the waterline correctly aligned but it’s dead on. I will post two MW shots though I’m not terribly excited about either one…they are decent, but had some lens issues.

Gorgeous scene and light!! If i may ask, how did you establish the alignment with a horizon not obvious?

Hoping to see the MW shots – I’m going crazy with cloudy weather.

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I made a copy of the original image, pulled a grid line across the page then reduced the opacity of the image until I could see as much of the underlying parts of the image, aligned it with the grid line.

You can do the same thing without obscuring the visibility. The grid line is anchored to the frame but not attached to a layer. Just make a copy layer and rotate as needed.

For anyone who doesn’t know: Turn on the Rulers in PS (Cmd or Ctrl-R), choose the move tool (V) (actually, most tools will work) and drag a guide line from either the top or the side.

But in this case the edge of the water is receding and it would not appear level. The clue to level is that in a reflection the tops of the trees would line up vertically. I neglected to turn off the original layer beneath, but you can see where the edges are rotated.

You can do the same thing using the crop tool in ACR. I generally do that first but if need be will do the low opacity thing. If I need to make a rotational shift, make a copy of the base layer, go to Transform, do the freeform, pull the target to the side that is the lowest, then grab a corner and rotate until it meets the grid line. I’m a self taught photoshop user so many of the things I do are, at best finding my way from my elbow to my forehead. Works for me.

One of the confusing aspects to this image, is there is a small inlet a little left of center, which makes one part of the shoreline, quite angled, thus skewing the mental acuity…or something like that . :wink:

Shores at an angle are always tricky. That’s where vertical reflections come to the rescue. If the camera is level, an object and its reflection line up vertically. If that’s not the case, it’s just a rotation to fix it. Then any other desired transformations are fair game, but someone will see the flaw if reflections don’t line up.

Oooh cypress knees! I love the way they completely convey the environment, at least to me. Plus the framing element they add is top notch. I couldn’t help doing a little noodling -

A crop, got rid of the heavy branch sticking in from the left, a little dodging and burning through luminosity masks and clarity action also confined to the knees in the center. Hope you don’t mind. It’s a marvelous scene. The mist is to die for.