Pushing Sunrise +repost


I’m Adam Bass, first time posting here and wanted to introduce myself. Ill make it quick. From Florida, shooting for 2 years, self taught, enjoy shooting Florida wildlife, landscapes, and people interacting with the landscape. Art background in painting and drawing.

I’d love any critique out there, tired of bouncing photos off friends and family and not having any real critiques. Please feel free to comment your feelings on anything with this shot.

This image was taken of my Friend Matt Pearce on his ranch next to Lake Okeechobee in South Florida. We were penning the cows for shipping calves. I liked the the lighting of this scene and when Matt looked back had a quick second to snap this shot. I had positioned myself to shoot this composition and it just worked out that he looked left and his dog was close by. Look forward to feed back.

Shot with Sony A7Rii and Sony 24-105 F4, ISO 250, F5, 1/320s, 74mm

Look forward to interacting with everyone on here, thanks

Edit, Taking the suggestions and running with I have retouched the image. Harley and Lon thank you those were great suggestions, definitely made for a stronger image! Also wanted to say so glad to have found this resource, thanks F-stop Collaborate and Listen for that.

IG @afloridawildman

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.
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Welcome aboard Adam and quite a fine first post. This image tells a great story and looks good doing it. This one also looks like a real challenge for dynamic range. I would not mind seeing some detail in the dog, horse and the dark cattle if it exists. The same goes for the blown areas of the sky, although that does not bother me that much (you could clone in a touch of sky detail using a technique of low opacity with your brush, experiment with 8 to 12% to start, and lightly clone in a hint of detail from other areas). Depending on the raw file, you also may be able to process the raw twice separately, once for shadows, once for highlights and then blend them. The Kyper masks may also help a bit. All that being said, it looks pretty nice as is, but those things might just step it up a little. My thoughts, anyway.

Looking forward to seeing more of your work and reading your input on the work of others!

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Hi Harley,

Those are great points. There is definitely some data left in those shadows I should try and process. I’m still very much on the learning curve for post editing skills. I will definitely take a look at cloning. The sky and the blown highlights bothered me from the start just haven’t had the skills or knowledge to fix them. Really appreciate your input. I’m definitely going to look at correcting that sky.

Welcome…A beautiful print to look at. A nice image of a friend. Otherwise low information, I seen no story or statement. Cows? and palm trees are unusual. Hope to see more. Thanks for being here and posting.


Welcome to NPN! What a fantastic first image. I must say, my first impression was - Life, or Time magazine feature image. A wonderful story telling image.

Harley pretty much pointed out some of the technical suggestions. Clearly this image is worth efforts now and in the future as your post skills expand. Speaking of which, Harley mentions a cloning technique; along with that is the very powerful means of painting on any type of mask or layer. You can “paint” with a soft brush to “reveal” or “conceal” global adjustments. There’s also the simple burn and dodge layers. Anyway, spend some time reading comments and suggestions and you’ll quickly pick up on some tips and tricks.

Now this is your first post and we’re a downright easy-going group, so big deal. In general, this image would normally be considered for the Non-nature gallery as the presence of man is pretty much the main subject. Don’t sweat it though and maybe take a few minutes to review the gallery definitions.

This one certainly deserves some comments. We look forward to more and for your participation in the galleries and discussion forums!


Hi Steven,

This is one shot of several as part of a series on the importance of the Florida cattle industry for supplying wildlife corridors and environmental offsets. I can definitely understand without more back story how it’s just a boring shot of cows. When I look at it I see a man whose 9th generation Florida cow man! Also the land he is on is becoming pivotal in the fight for clean water in Florida. There is a heritage story and a place story that I obviously haven’t shown with this one image, appreciate you taking the time to comment on it.

Hi Lon,

Thank you for your comments. I will read those forum descriptions! I look forward to learning more and participating on the site!

Thanks again,


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The repost is even better - actually quite awesome. Subtle changes made a huge difference, especially in the sky, but also noticeably with the dog and horse.

thanks for taking the time to rework and share!


Thanks for that Adam, and for helping me make a point: What we experience in our pictures, others rarely do. The photographer always gets much more from memories acquired during the time and place of exposure. You are likely the only person whose memory is triggered by looking at this image. The rest of us have no memory of this person or place to connect to. A curious aspect of every image that took me a while to understand about my own efforts. It’s why I never shoot for me. All subjective. TY

I think the repost nails it. Quite a nice image.

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Hi Adam, and welcome to NPN. When I saw this image and your description, the title “The Marlboro Man visits Florida” popped into my head. I think this makes a very nice subject for B&W. You have already got a lot of constructive input already, and your rework reflecting those comments is a good improvement over the original post.

I’ll address my comments to your rework. I think you could take the localized dodging and burning even further. I would dodge the dog even further. I would lower the highlights in the sky, and darken the darker tones in the sky. This would place even more emphasis on the cowboy. In the same vein, I think the bright patch of grass below and right of the cowboy pulls my eye away from him, i would darken it slightly. If you are not familiar with luminosity masks, they can be a great method to approach very localized adjustments like this. a lot of members here use Tony Kuyper’s TK Actions panel for this type of work (Tony is an NPN member).

I’m also bothered a little by the composition. I like the cowboys over the shoulder look, but that naturally draws the viewers eye to look to the left of him. Thus I think you have too much space to the right of the cowboy that’s not adding much to the story here. So i would crop some away from the right.

I hope you don’t mind, but I downloaded your re-worked image, and reflected my comments in another rework. It’s little subtle things like localized dodging and burning that can add a lot of value to an image.

Hi Ed,

Thank you for taking the time to do that. you are right that slight bit of work on the clouds definitely is an improvement. Also the darkening of the grass patch helps to solidify the subject.
Personally this is a favorite image of mine so I really appreciate the time spent on this.

Just a wonderful image. Everything’s moving to the right but he’s looking to the left. I like that counterpoint.

Nobody’s mentioned the checkered shirt. Imagine the image with a monochromatic shirt. It just would’t be as good.

Yes, I do think this tells a story. What does he see on the left? The dog follows his master in total devotion. The palms tell us this isn’t Texas. And much more. I agree that this is a LIFE magazine type of image we all grew up with.

This shows how much art there is in photojournalism. People like to draw a line between the two based on this criteria.

Hi Igor,

I appreciate you digging into the photograph. I usually dont photograph people but I do love old Florida Cracker culture. Its very in tune with the land and its real. I’ve yet to meet a true rancher that wasnt a genuine person and intimately connected to the lands that they live and work on. Thanks for the comment and the points.

Fantastic Adam; welcome!

May I just say that I love the dog! (And yes, I am biased…)

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