Through eternity (+1 re-work)

With some color grading and a boost in vibrance & saturation. I also increased exposure and lifted the shadows very slightly using a brush in the upper branches.


A playful take on some beauties in the lower Atchafalaya Basin, Louisiana. Taken just before sundown. It’s actually a bit of an optical illusion if you can see what I mean.

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Thoughts, impressions, ideas…have at it.

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

Is this a composite? No

Handheld in a kayak


I cropped square and used a preset in Lightroom, but I can’t remember which one. I also probably removed some debris in the water in Photoshop, but that’s about it.

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I really like this one. Excellent simplicity with beautiful light. Two minor suggestions, crop a little off the bottom leaving the first dark oval with some edge space below it and second boost the vibrance to give some boost to the warm colors and the blues. Very well done.

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I see the optical illusion! The tree on the left is farther away and the other two the same distance (or very close), but the sizes make them look like the middle one is at a middle distance.

I’m not sure I’d take anything off the bottom – I like the visual weight in the water. John Paul Caponigro is a great advocate for a horizon that is just a little off center.

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I agree with Harley on boosting the vibrance a bit - but first I’d slide the Shadows bar a bit to the right.It’s just before sundown, right, but I’d like to see a bit more detail in the upper branches, if possible.Beautiful shot, well worth the paddling!

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Thanks guys. That sunset was amazing. I’ve posted a few shots of it on NPN so you can look if you want.

That’s part of it, but there’s another little secret in this shot.

I’ve played a bit with the image and posted another version in the OP. I used the Modern 08 Preset I see now. I went carefully though. Part of the reason I processed it this way was to change things up from the larger series/body of work. But on its own it might not be strong enough. See what you think with the changes.

This is a great trio! I like the rework best.

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The three cypress trees and their reflections look great, Kris, with the rework being a nice improvement. It’s an elegant scene. The one thing I notice is that the top branches of the two trees on the right are much darker than their lower branches, which seems surprising. The redo fixed that for the tree on the right.

Beautiful. I like the crop and light a lot. Maybe darken the tree on the left just a bit???

I like the boost for the second version, It’s so neat to be able to click between the different versions in the large view!

I plead guilty to being dull – can’t find your secret!

The Atchafalaya is an incredible and scary place. We’ve flown over the Atlantic and Pacific in a single-engine airplane, but when we flew over this interminable place several years ago, I was in a panic about what would have happened with an engine failure. We would have been alligator food.

Sharks, alligators…either way you’d have been in trouble.

The secret is there are four trees in this shot -

The fourth lines up behind the center one perfectly depending on where you put your kayak.

Sneaky! I do prefer the image with “just” three trees.

We had a survival raft over the ocean, and a longer runway.

I think I actually like the original better, but they’re both great.

@Diane_Miller I worked for Occidental Petroleum for a number of years, and traveled quite a bit. We had a number of facilities in the Lake Charles, La. area, and eastward. I would often fly into Lake Charles on a twin engine turboprop. It was almost always socked-in cloudy, so you could see nothing until you broke clear just before landing. All you could see was water and marshland, and I always prayed there was a landing strip in front of us!

Thanks guys. I am tempted to do another cypress tour someday. In the fall again because I don’t think I could take the heat or the bugs at any other time. Plus the rusty gold they turn in fall is pretty special.

Hi Kirsten.

I love the gorgeous trees and their reflection in the water. Though surely also good in B&W, I think the warm glow on the stems is the better version.

Grt, Ingrid.