Oak at Sunrise

A beautiful crisp fall morning over a pond in SE Michigan. The sun highlighting the stretching Oak and grass in the pond attracted me to shoot this. I cropped some of the sky, the lower messy foreground reflection and dark tangled grape vines from the LRC.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

Any would be appreciated.

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

I am interested in thoughts on the overall composition and balance of the image. Would a different crop help.

Any pertinent technical details:

Nikon D7500, 16-80mm, 22mm, ISO100, F11, 1/20 sec, single exposure

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.
1 Like

Nice peaceful scene. I am not seeing any alternative crops. Looks fine as presented.

Where in MI are you? I grew up in Mt. Clemens but moved to CA a long, long time ago.

I live in Commerce Township near Walled Lake a northwest suburb. I have an Uncle in Santa Barbara, moved there 40 years ago and he also never looked back! He was my first phone call when I decided to buy my first camera. He has been shooting since the late 60’s.

Thanks for your comments on my post.

Really nice composition on this one Alan, the pano format works great for this scene. Processing strong backlighting like this is not always easy, but you have done a great job of controlling contrast, this looks very natural. And you have gotten two sun-stars for the price of one !!!

I initially thought a small crop from the bottom might be warranted (to remove negative space in the water), but then realized a crop would remove the fallen log, so in the end I like it as presented. If you had stopped down to f16 or f22 instead of using f11, you would have gotten more pronounced sun-stars, but at the expense of shutter speed. If you had any wind that morning you might not have been able to stop down that much. But that’s a very minor point, I really like this a lot as presented, the backlighting carries this image.

Thanks for your comments and insight Ed. I did considered cropping more of the bottom but I also liked the fallen log. I will try stopping down next time, there was zero breeze.

Love your backlit leaves. They’re so full of life. The panoramic format is great for that long graceful arc from one end of the frame to the other. I also like the contribution of the orange dabs here and there. The image is pretty contrasty but you kinda want a dark bg for that cluster of leaves. Would it be better without the smaller sunburst? Very fine image.

Thanks for your thoughts Igor. It’s funny you mentioned removing the small sunburst, I considered trying to remove it and wanted to see if others would mention it. I considered shooting the image without the sunburst and also cropping out from the sunburst to the right. I looked at it and opted to keep it in. It might be challenging to remove the small sunburst, I have never tried it.


Wonderful! The panoramic is perfect for the scene, emphasizing the out-stretched branch and beautifully backlit leaves. NO crop suggestions - although I’m wishing for a skosh more room on the right, but that’s minor.

I think you did an outstanding job handling the light, exposure, processing, etc. I didn’t see the secondary sunstar and for me anyway was a nice surprise to see. I like it.

Just a great job with this one.


Lon thanks for the kind words and your thoughts. I do have a little more room on the right but it is dark and tangled brush. I did not think it helped but will take another look.