Dale Yates  


Early Morning Light by Dale Yates

November 2020 - Early Morning Light

About the Image(s)

This image was take during the early morning hours at a local park. The light provided a very noticeable rim lighting effect on the tree near the center of the image. The light rays were very pronounced as well. My goal was to capture this light and its effects on the surrounding area.

This photo was taken using a Canon SL1 camera with a Tamron 18-200, f/3.5-6.3 zoom lens. For this photograph I used an aperture of f/10 with a shutter speed of 1/125 of a second, ISO 800, and a focal length of 27mm. This photo was taken in RAW format. Post processing in Lightroom, includes adjustments to white balance, exposure and contrast, highlights and shadows, overall sharpness and noise reduction. Photoshop was also utilized to enhance the light as well as provide some warmth to the photo.


This round’s discussion is now closed!
6 comments posted




Dan Mottaz   Dan Mottaz

Hi Dale, images shot with backlighting are my favorite to look at. Yours does not disappoint. Backlighting is a difficult task. Exposure is tricky while your camera's meter wants you to stop down. Then it's a challenge to keep your highlights from peaking. The tall grass just right of the tree looks a little hot, but that might be due to the small JPG, sRGB internet file (?) However the lighting behind the tree is controlled perfectly. Also, I admire how you gently direct the viewer's eyes toward the upper right. It's a soothing, peaceful image that doesn't scream at me.   Posted: 11/05/2020 09:33:47



Robert Atkins   Robert Atkins
Hi Dale. Like Dan, I like backlighting too, and you found some nice backlighting here, particularly in those sections of the image where it is highlighted against otherwise dark sections of the image. But I really like light rays. They are subtle but there, and my thought was that more could do be done to bring them out. So, hope you don't mind, I decided to do some quick and dirty practice and see what I could do.

So, I did a few things. I cropped to focus on the region near the light rays - which also has the nicest back lighting in my opinion. In cropping, the tree would have leaned out of the frame to the right, so I applied a transformation to straighten it and use it as a frame. The tree and the foliage on the left then "frame" the light rays. For the light rays I threw a bunch of things at them. First I cooled down the whole image so I could paint the light rays warmer to help bring them out. I also darkened the image overall so the light rays and back light would stand out more. Then I brushed over the light rays - I increased their brightness, lowered contrast, and added a little negative dehaze (e.g., added haze). I did everything in Lightroom, and not as carefully as I would for a final image.

It was a fun exercise because I've never worked on light rays before (as much as I like them I never end up with them). It is admittedly a very different look, but it emphasizes the parts of the image that really attracted me.   Posted: 11/05/2020 19:36:28
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Dan Mottaz   Dan Mottaz
Gosh, Robert; you really transformed this image. I like it. You introduced the perfect amount of drama and gave the image, as a whole, more interest. I hope Dale likes it.   Posted: 11/07/2020 18:26:33



Gerard Blair   Gerard Blair
Dale - I love the lighting also - the contrasts and the green tones come out well. As with last month, I like the effective bifurcation of your image into left/right halves (by the tree).

My idea was to try to recrop because I am not finding a point where I would settle - however my instinct was to place the tree on a line-of-thirds and I could not make that work. Instead I found that for me the removal of some of the grass at the bottom seemed to elevate the force of the foliage. I also played a little in Color Efex Pro's dark contract with the same intent as Robert - but over the whole image.   Posted: 11/07/2020 10:33:33
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Cheryl LaLonde   Cheryl LaLonde
Hi Dale

I really agree with what Robert has done. He has emphasized the light rays which I think is also what drew your eye to this image. It makes the light rays the main subject and as Dan said adds drama to the image. Such a beautiful calm photo with lovely backlighting.   Posted: 11/11/2020 16:04:36



Emily Kawasaki   Emily Kawasaki
I love the shades of bright greens in your image. They blend nicely with the yellow-brown grasses. I think that both Gerard and Robert's edits are good, and both evoke different feelings from your original image. I agree that emphasizing the rays of light really bring more focus to the areas of light and shadow. I also like the patterns of the leaves on the left. All of the different plants give the image a lot of texture. Great shot!   Posted: 11/19/2020 10:45:31