Dan Mottaz  

Stepping to the Edge by Dan Mottaz

August 2020 - Stepping to the Edge

About the Image(s)

I have returned to this location several times looking for just the right conditions. For this sunrise shot, I didn't quite get it so I will return again. The lake water was too high which prevented me from capturing surface rocks at a low angle and the center tree was hidden in a shadow. I compromised my vision by repositioning to a higher vantage, placing the lava rock in the foreground. Despite the frustration, I am happy with the dark mood and atmospheric conditions. Compositionally, because the framing was symmetrical, I consciously positioned the foreground lava rocks off center to create a little visual tension. I have always struggled with the challenge of telling a story in a landscape image. It seems much easier with animals, street scenes and people photography. But here, I think I might have come close.
Technical: 5DMKIII, 16-35mm lense at 16mm, f22, 5 Sec. Exposure and ISO 50, Steadied on a RRS Tripod.
Post: The image was manually focus stacked. I used ACR then PS for normal contrast and H&S adjustments. NIK plug-in was used for color tone adjustments. I always expose to the right so I used the Multiply Blending Mode to bring down the light and enhance the dark mood. I also dialed in a slight amount of Magenta to stay true to my vision.

6 comments posted

Paul Smith   Paul Smith
Don't be frustrated!! You should be happy. This is fabulous! The attention you pay to the "details" pays off. I hope you are selling lots of these.   Posted: 08/03/2020 15:44:01
Dan Mottaz   Dan Mottaz
That is a very nice comment, Paul. Thank you.   Posted: 08/03/2020 17:11:52

Jean Wu   Jean Wu
You are a pro!! All of your images you posted so far are all can be used in photography landscape textbook materials. I especially appreciate your detailed descriptions in "About the Image" that benefit us all, I believe.   Posted: 08/09/2020 10:58:33

Michael Nath   Michael Nath
Very well done Dan. The balance between the foreground rock and the sky is amazing. Exposure is excellent also in that you retained the color in the reflections on the water. Impressive.   Posted: 08/10/2020 10:18:29

Darcy Quimby   Darcy Quimby
As you know I'm a big fan of reflections you nailed it. The calmness of the water was perfect. At least for me a picture works if I can picture myself in the scene and I can. Just my opinion I would ease back a little on the magenta. Your use of the leading line of the rock draws me straight back into the picture stopping to grasp the three groups of tree and ending on the mountains.   Posted: 08/10/2020 17:28:12

Ed O’Rourke   Ed O’Rourke
I see a lot to like in this photo. I like the composition with the rocks in the foreground; reflection on the water; the band of the shore with the mountains in the background; and topped by the sky and clouds. I am impressed with the positioning of the mountains symmetricly on either side of the center line combined with the peaks of the rocks in the foreground placed on the center line. The focus is, in my opinion, is spot on and the depth of field over the entire image appeals to me. I also like the way the colors work together and create a mood to compliment the image. Great Photo   Posted: 08/12/2020 18:27:35


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