Charles Walker  

Summer Clouds over Spruce Lake by Charles Walker

September 2020 - Summer Clouds over Spruce Lake

September 2020 - Charles Walker


About the Image(s)

The second largest ski resort in New York, Holiday Valley in Ellicottville, is near my home. I went there recently to avoid cabin fever and get some fresh air. At the top of one of the mountains is Spruce Lake, a large pond used to feed dozens of snow canons. When the wind is low, the clouds reflect gorgeously in the water. Alfred Stieglitz was obsessed with clouds and I can see why. I swapped color channels, tweaked the sliders using the Camera Raw filter, removed a safety wire, and finally, reduced noise with Topaz AI. However, I must ask our discussion group, is this an IR image? Would it have been more authentic in black & white? Camera data: Nikon D7000, 24mm, f/16, 1/250, ISO=160.

8 comments posted

Emil Davidzuk   Emil Davidzuk

The clouds and their reflection onto the pond are exquisite. The beauty of IR photography is there are so many ways available to you for rendering your images. So IMHO your Sept image is IR it just happens to be in color and now Melanie has shown us another processing option.

Food for thought...would lightening the cloud reflections make sense?

Emil   Posted: 09/02/2020 14:11:00

Gary Potts   Gary Potts
Hi Charles,

I think it is VERY MUCH an IR image...and you've simply used color IR to capture it and present it to us. In channel swapping, I'd have liked to have seen more yellow and more prominence of the foliage along the lake and in the trees on the right. You have a lot of options when you swap channels in terms of amount and variety. Very strong image imho.   Posted: 09/02/2020 14:54:02

Palli Gajree   Palli Gajree
Hi Charles
I ditto remarks by both Emil and Gary. Channel swapping can often do wonders, but seems a little overpowering here. Sorry I can't be of more help.
  Posted: 09/02/2020 20:35:52

Jack Florence Jr   Jack Florence Jr
I think it still works as IR Charles, for me, the bits of white foliage give it that bit of whimsy. But for me it's the composition that feels like it's not perhaps the best crop. The beautiful reflection seems to be the subject, but then the foliage and fence on the right are also interesting, so to me it does really come together, or flow as far as the eye moving around the scene goes. I'm thinking a crop of the middle, or the right side, might work better.   Posted: 09/05/2020 17:40:37
Charles Walker   Charles Walker
I had some challenges deciding how to crop this landscape. I will try your suggestions . . . or take another shot to create a more balanced composition   Posted: 09/14/2020 09:35:22

John Erve   John Erve
Charles, I do recognize this as a IR image based on similar images with this color scheme. Was it taken with a 635 nm filter? For me the most interesting aspect is the reflections of the clouds in the lake and to me this came across quite well. I notice that the horizon seems to drop off on the left which you may want to correct. Other than that, I feel this captures a pleasing scene. Thanks for sharing.   Posted: 09/06/2020 16:10:32

Melanie Hurwitz   Melanie Hurwitz
Hey Chuck, Another gorgeous scene with great clouds. I do like the color rendition, but find the blue a bit bright. I have de saturated the blue and cranked up the yellows a bit. I am not sure about a crop on the bottom. I think that is a personal choice. What do you think?   Posted: 09/07/2020 11:27:57
Comment Image
Charles Walker   Charles Walker
Yes Melanie, in another version, I have it less saturated, but for impulsive reasons I settled with something more fanciful. Less saturated is better and the yellow retains some of the whimsy.   Posted: 09/14/2020 09:31:44


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