Dale Yates  

Winter Lake by Dale Yates

February 2021 - Winter Lake

About the Image(s)

This image was taken at a nearby lake during the late stages of winter a couple of years ago. I was testing out a new lens at the time (24mm prime) and wanted to see how it would work out. My goal in this image was to capture the serene winter lake and to show that life goes on (geese swimming), even during harsher conditions.

This photo was taken in RAW format; Canon SL1 camera; Canon Ef-S 24mm, f/2.8 STM lens; aperture f16; shutter speed 1/250; ISO 400; focal length 24mm. Post processing in Lightroom includes adjusting white balance, contrast, highlights and shadows, color adjustments, and overall sharpening.

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

Dan Mottaz   Dan Mottaz
Hi Dale, you definitely have captured a serene winter lake. But outside of the lake boundaries there's a bit of tension: The dead, scraggly brush in the foreground; the haphazard prints on the left and the houses on the upper shore. To my eyes, there's too much visual conflict. The geese bring the tension down, but the image feels more like an equipment test (as you indicated) rather than an dedicated effort to make an impactful story.
I tried to re-crop your picture but couldn't find the right framing.
Your processing is very well done with the colors, tones and sharpness all perfect. You are obviously well practiced in LR.   Posted: 02/03/2021 12:22:34
Dale Yates   Dale Yates
Thanks Dan! I appreciate your comments and agree that with a 2nd look, the photo appears too busy. However, I believe a question must be asked, namely "Is tension in a photograph a bad thing"? I understand and agree with the concept of a single point of interest in an image. However, I also believe that an image can have multiple points of interest as well. I agree that my photo is perhaps too busy, but there are contrasts that I believe the viewer can take into consideration...the haphazard footprints, the ugly looking ice formation, the houses along the shoreline contrasted with the serene geese doing what they always do, swimming within the lake. Even in the hectic life we at times have, life goes on. I am not defending my photo and agree with your comments. I am only thinking out loud as to whether tension in an image is a bad thing. I welcome your comments. Thanks again!   Posted: 02/06/2021 08:54:17

Dan Mottaz   Dan Mottaz
Hey There Dale. I took a photography workshop where the instructor told me I needed more tension in my images. I had no idea what he meant. I later studied the concept and now when composing a shot, I consider how I can apply or reduce the amount of tension in the image. This is a roundabout way to say that I agree with you. Tension is not a bad thing at all. It all depends on what the imagemaker is trying to say through their photo.   Posted: 02/06/2021 09:17:57

Robert Atkins   Robert Atkins
Hi Dale, seems like the lens is a keeper - looks plenty sharp to me, although you are stopped down pretty far so perhaps not the best test.

I wanted to jump in on the tension thing. I agree tension can be wonderful in an image. We all know the name of the game is to invoke emotion, and tension in the image usually means strong emotion. But I don't get a sense of tension from this particular image. I tend to agree with Dan that there is too much here and it is not ordered in a way that takes me from one thing to another. That is of course the challenge with a wide angle - it wants to capture too much. I can see an interesting shot were you to get in close to the pattern of trampled footprints, and to fill most of the frame with that. If you then enticed the geese to come to the edge of the frame (perhaps with some offered food), almost as if they were staring at the footprints in disgust, then you have tension - nature competing with the impact of man. The juxtaposition would be clear, and there would be no extraneous elements to confuse the message.

Have fun with the new lens. I have always found it easier to take good landscapes with longer lenses than with wide angles, simply because the lens helps prevent putting too many things in the frame. On the other hand, when a wide angle shot is done right, I think they can be really magical.   Posted: 02/10/2021 18:57:46

Emily Kawasaki   Emily Kawasaki
Hi Dale, I really like how your scene captures so many different elements (the smooth water, the rough texture of the ice, the yellowish grass, the bare trees, the ripple in the water, the clarity of the swans etc.) The muted yellow-brown colors of the scenery contrasts the different shades of blue really nicely. The smoothness color gradient of the cloudless sky creates the perfect backdrop/negatie space for the scene. The reflection is the water is perfect. Great shot!   Posted: 02/15/2021 02:04:56

Gerard Blair   Gerard Blair
To my eyes - the negative space of the sky offers too much relief to the "tension" which I see in the assertive white ice that moves into the image, off-center, cutting the water. I would prefer to crop so that this will dominate, leaving the smaller details of the fowl and the buildings (with that so tranquil reflection) to offer balance and amelioration.
So yes to the lens - but few landscapes actually match the frame of a prime lens unless you can fly and cropping will often enhance.   Posted: 02/21/2021 12:33:55
Comment Image

Cheryl LaLonde   Cheryl LaLonde
Hi Dale
Sorry to be so late to the party this month.
I agree with everyone's comments so far. Great job editing with nice colors and exposure.

I like the leading line of the frozen water through the image. The geese are a nice addition and in my opinion are the main subject so I would do what I could to make them the subject and eliminate as much of the competing elements. I think the addition of tension to an image needs to done deliberately and be obvious. In this image I think it is an after effect of competing elements. Just my humble opinion. I can't say I'm very good at adding tension to my own images.   Posted: 02/27/2021 12:23:38