Velvet Light

Out and about on a delightfully foggy morning, standing on a bridge overlooking the Sacramento River, a boat slowly motored past and created these lovely soft ripples. There was just enough light to pick out their soft forms.

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The temptation was to increase the contrast to show more details, but I resisted to maintain the mystery in the background. I did dodge/burn the rippled part a bit to emphasize them. Is it sufficiently mysterious? Also, does the detail that is visible look ok? No weird artifacts?

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
a7r3, 43mm, f/16, 1/500s, ISO 400.


This struck me as more of a romantic scene than a mysterious. It reminds me of those early French photographs people made of the Seine River by Paris. Just struck a cord I guess. An accordion softly playing in the mist. Perhaps Maurice Chevalier crooning in the background. It has a 40-50s look to it. I love the quality of light on the water. Yes, definitely romantic for me.

I have to agree with @Igor_Doncov, Bonnie. This has romance all over it. And Igor, your description of my favorite city is perfect, complete with Maurice.

This is a great image, Bonnie. Congrats.

Super! I love the light on the water, and that the wide-angle has made the reflection of the tree stretched out so that it’s not symmetrical. Next to that reflection was the magic spot for the lighted ripples!

I think the contrast and detail is excellent. Well done.

I would like to see what it looks like with a little more clarity or detail on the boat(?) in the upper right, just to see if the composition and “story” of the image is improved. I don’t think it would destroy the romance or mystery of it, and it might be worth seeing if it improved anything.

This is absolutely splendid, Bonnie! For me this photograph is reminiscent (without in any way copying) the photographs of my personal hero, Keith Carter in the way so little is stated and so much is implied. This photograph really starts to get under the surface of things revealing an inner essence. For me, perhaps the finest photograph I’ve seen posted on this site. Superb.

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Just a wonderful image Bonnie, it’s so well crafted. I do get a strong sense of mystery here. As @Kerry_Gordon said there is lot here that is implied and not explicitly shown, and for me that creates a strong sense of mystery. The viewer is left to wonder about several things, what is causing the ripples, what lies beyond the foggy tree at the top, and even where is the sun that is casting the light in the water (the fog looks pretty dense, where is that sun?).

The area with the light and the ripples is what elevates this image far beyond the usual tree in fog type shot. And I think your processing of that area works perfectly. I wouldn’t change a thing about this image, and I think it would make a stunning large print !!!

Thank you, @Igor_Doncov, @David_Bostock, @Diane_Miller, @DeanRoyer, @Bill_Gibson, @Kerry_Gordon, and @Ed_McGuirk for your thoughts and appreciation.

Yes, I guess it does have a romantic feel. That didn’t occur to me because the locale is anything but romantic. Turning around to look over the other side of the bridge you see two shabby trailer parks and a biker gang-type bar (now closed, fortunately) on either side of the river. This is at a place called Balls Ferry, which used to be a major crossing point before bridges were built in this area. My husband, who is half French, got a kick out of your comment. :slight_smile:

There are only trees in the mist in the upper right, as the boat had passed beneath the bridge at this point. I did try bringing them out some, but decided against it for some reason.

High praise, Kerry - thank you! Do you think you would have figured that something had passed by in the water without my saying it was a boat? I mentioned the boat just to describe the scene. I figured the ripples would stand on their own, without an explanation - that is, I was not thinking that they told a story per se.

Thanks for describing what you find mysterious, Ed. As I said to Kerry, I wasn’t thinking that this told much of a story, but I’m very glad that it does ask questions. The sun was not too high in the sky, off to the upper left, but it’s out of the frame because I was standing on a tall bridge and looking down at a fairly good angle.

Honestly, Bonnie, I would never have thought to even ask the question. When I look at this image I’m not particularly concerned with why it looks the way it does but rather by the way I am affected by it.


The mood in this image is fantastic! Upon looking at it, a feeling of the most wonderful calm comes upon me. Hard to tell the place or time. Just the most delightful feeling of drifting into timeless contemplation.

I love the post-processing: it is perfect, I wouldn’t change a thing! (no need for more detail/texture and I do not see any weird artefacts or anything of the sort). Surely, one to print large and happily :smile:

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