Robert Atkins  

Dream Lake Rainbow by Robert Atkins

January 2022 - Dream Lake Rainbow

About the Image(s)

This month's image is an old one from Rocky Mtn National Park. Mid-summer I hiked up to Dream Lake in the dark to catch sunrise, and was rewarded by some dramatic light, as well as sprinkles of rain which brought a very fortunate rainbow. I didn't even have to run anywhere to get the rainbow to line up with the brightly lit peak. It just did that for me. I struggled to keep the front of the lens dry, and shot while the rainbow lasted, maybe some 10 minutes. This image was shot in digital on a Nikon 5100 with the Nikon 18-55 f3.5-5.6 kit lens. It was shot on a tripod at ISO 100, 1/30s, f8, and at 38mm (57mm equivalent).

As amazing as it was to be there with the light and all, I've never been that happy with the image or any of its companions. I went back today and tried processing this one again, focusing on better bringing out the drama that was real, and trying to give it more of a story - the peak reaching up with the rainbow to the heavens. I am still not sure it speaks to me as strongly as I think it should given the blessing I was presented with that morning. Thoughts? Am I just judging this one too hard or am I missing something obvious?

5 comments posted

Bob Wills   Bob Wills
Hi Bob,
Powerful image for me. I am hoping that the story I get from the contrasting darkness and light comes true, and in the not-too-distant future. I am overwhelmed by this imagery. Beautiful work.   Posted: 01/10/2022 13:20:37

Haru Nagasaki   Haru Nagasaki
Hi Robert,
Thank you for sharing. It sounds like you were at the right timing for dramatic morning scene to capture. I envy you that you encountered such a moment!
Here is what I like;
1. The rainbow starting from the peak.
2. The sandwiching blue sky (cool colors) by morning lights (warm colors) - sun and lit peak
However, this image does not work well for me, I am afraid. It is very powerful image (as Bob mentioned) with strong contrast but my eye cannot stay long in the frame.
My eye starts from the lit mountain and the rainbow help my eye to bridge to the brightest sky in upper left corner. Since there is no subject to pull my eye back to the image, my eye end up being tired with the brightest light.
If you look the image upside down, you will notice how powerful and bright it is in the upper left corner.
And also there is a big gap (blue sky) between two bright part (the sun and lit peak) in the center of the frame so it makes the image breaks apart in my view. Maybe I would try to reduce the brightness of sun/clouds and increase the details/texture to balance against the lit peak.
Lastly, I prefer to see a bit more details in the mountain. Shadow is too dark for me.   Posted: 01/11/2022 02:02:43

Gloria Grandolini   Gloria Grandolini
Hi Bob, I really love this image. It is majestic. I wish you could bring out a bit more the colors of the rainbow and give a bit more light to the mountains - so more contrast overall. But what luck to get this scene! It gives a real good sense of the power and beauty of nature. Maybe crop the left side so the eye focuses on the rainbow and the raising sun on the mountains at the right.   Posted: 01/11/2022 16:57:34

Cheryl LaLonde   Cheryl LaLonde
Hi Robert
When I saw this image I thought WOW, then I remembered a time when I saw a rainbow and took the image only to be disappointed in the result. I know where you are coming from, the image never does the experience justice. I do love this image Robert, it gives me a feeling of hope and an appreciation of the beauty in the world around us. I agree that the top left is too bright and draws away from the mountain. I too thought cropping the left might help. As for improving the colors of the rainbow, I have never found a way to make this happen in my own images or in this one either. I do think you are judging this one too hard, it seems to speak to all of us in some way.   Posted: 01/15/2022 13:56:40
Comment Image

Dan Mottaz   Dan Mottaz
Hi Robert,
I have always thought that a good photograph starts with a good capture. I can't count how many times I've tried in vain to squeeze out a image in processing that was from the beginning not that remarkable. The experience of being there was no doubt wonderful, but I have learned that sometimes I just need to put my camera down and enjoy the show.
This is not to say that I feel your photo was not worth the effort. I am speaking to the second paragraph of your description.
Sometimes cropping and enhancing the elements of an image helps bring out the vision or story we are after. But I don't think that will fully work here.
I get the sense that this was an emotional experience for you. Unfortunately, it's extremely difficult to translate that emotion onto a photograph.
  Posted: 01/19/2022 17:45:51


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