Dan Mottaz  


Sleepwalking by Dan Mottaz

February 2021 - Sleepwalking

About the Image(s)

I spent six days in Yellowstone in late December. The entire trip was so cold and miserable that photography was a major challenge. Heavy winter clothing made movement difficult. Seeing through constantly steamed up glasses was aggravating. I simply did not want to be there. But, surprisingly, I came back with a healthy supply of shots that I was happy with. This shot, taken just outside of the park boundry, is of the Buffalo River the morning after a snowfall as the sky was opening up.

Color plays an important role in the story of an image. Here I dialed in Magenta to help in showing the time and conditions of the scene.

Post Processing was done in my usual fashion using ACR, PS and a mix of NIK and Luminar.

Capture date: Canon 5D MK III, 16-35 Canon Lens at 16mm, f/16, 0.8 sec., ISO: 50

Thank you in advance for your comments.


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




Paul Smith   Paul Smith
(Group 93)
Dan, This is excellent.
Paul from Group 93   Posted: 02/02/2021 11:57:33
Dan Mottaz   Dan Mottaz
Thank you, Paul. Nice to see you check into Group 96.   Posted: 02/03/2021 12:01:52



Witta Priester   Witta Priester
(Group 77)
What a wonderful photo! Well worth the cold, I think.

This processing seems a bit too Blue on my monitor, so I added a few adjustment layers to add warmth... (a warming photo filter 85 at 25%; a filmstock_50.3 color lookup adjustment layer, and then some levels). And then a stoke.   Posted: 02/04/2021 18:38:17
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Robert Atkins   Robert Atkins
Dan, this is a very beautiful image. Sorry that the trip was less enjoyable than you wished, but I hope that you at least enjoy the images that you walked away with. If the rest are anything like this, it was a very worthwhile trip.

Overall I like the magenta dialed in to match the morning conditions and mood. The only improvement I see is perhaps with respect to the cyan'ish sky (at least cyan'ish relative to the more purplish blues in the water) which to me seems out of harmony. I did a quick adjustment below to see what pushing the sky a little more purplish would do. I like it that way better, but I don't know if others would agree.   Posted: 02/09/2021 19:13:29
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Emily Kawasaki   Emily Kawasaki
Hi Dan, this image is so dreamy and calming. I like how all of the elements (snow-covered trees, clouds, ice-covered lake/pond, the swirl pattern on the ice) are have clarity yet still look soft. The reflection of the trees is perfect and the symmetrical balance between the sky/land and the ice/water is spot on. I love how you captured that color of the sunset sky. It reminds me of a Botticelli sky. Great shot!   Posted: 02/15/2021 02:29:33



Emily Kawasaki   Emily Kawasaki
Hi Dan, this image is so dreamy and calming. I like how all of the elements (snow-covered trees, clouds, ice-covered lake/pond, the swirl pattern on the ice) are have clarity yet still look soft. The reflection of the trees is perfect and the symmetrical balance between the sky/land and the ice/water is spot on. I love how you captured that color of the sunset sky. It reminds me of a Botticelli sky. Great shot!   Posted: 02/15/2021 02:29:34



Dale Yates   Dale Yates
Dan...excellent image. The overall composition is great and the detail/sharpness throughout is excellent. The adjustments provided by both Robert and Witta are excellent. However, I personally like what you have done with your image which has a very calming effect as Emily noted. In my opinion, this image has a "pop" to it as one of my former group members would occasionally note, and I wouldn't change a thing.   Posted: 02/20/2021 11:43:38



Gerard Blair   Gerard Blair
Dan - a stunning image. I am struck by the clarity and the color, and in particular the beauty of the trees. And I wish I had shot it.
To offer one suggest: I had a little trouble deciding what the subject was. Normally I laugh at statements like this since I have the attitude that "it is the landscape stupid" but with this image I felt unsure. For me, if it were my image, I would make the trees center stage, the main attraction. The water is interesting but the trees are superb.   Posted: 02/21/2021 21:36:20
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Cheryl LaLonde   Cheryl LaLonde
So often some of the greatest images we get are when the weather is just horrible! This is an awesome image.

There are details everywhere holding your interest and the water pulls your eye right into the image to the trees then clouds. I love that it appears untouched by man.

I agree with Witta. Adding a little warmth brightens the image a bit, but I see this a personal preference. It does not portray as much of a cold feel. So it depends what your going for.

I like your crop as is and wouldn't change it.   Posted: 02/27/2021 13:20:11