A peaceful morning

I came to this location with the purpose of photographing a single tree or branch in calm water with long exposure. Unfortunately, I did not find an interesting tree by itself, so I combined the rock. I waited for the first light to get some warm light on the rock and a nice background color.
Due to of the long exposure together with a light wind, the thin branches at the top of the tree did not come out sharp.
I want to go back there and would appreciate any criticism that will help me make it better next time.

Specific Feedback Requested

Any criticism is welcome

Technical Details

Canon M50 (Crop)
ISO 100; 50mm; f/8.0; 20 sec.

I like the overall peaceful feeling of this image with the smooth water, majority cool colors and soft light. The warm colors in the sky and on the rock provide some nice contrast. I’m not bothered by the out of focus leaves as to me it works with the overall soft feel. But if you want to try again and you encounter wind once more you could try taking one long exposure and one with a quick shutter speed and blend the two together. That make prove challenging, though, as the leaves overlap the water.

Was there a relationship between the tree and rock that you wanted to show? If so then what is it? If not then I would suggest working on just the rock as the misty looking water works better with the rock. The slow SS worked well for you here and the light was also good. The composition could be stronger. I think there is too much sky for this comp. If the tree was alone then lots of sky and water would have looked good. Had the tree been sparser then the contrast between rock and tree would have worked well as an idea.

Is there a way to move to the left so that you can capture just the tree on your next trip? Or possibly move quite a ways to the right and get just the tree? It seems like that was your intention on this trip. Can you wade out into the water to get just the tree? Sorry, just trying to help you figure out a way to get your tree shot. As for this shot, You have the juxtaposition of the rock being tack sharp and unmovable while the tree bends and twists in the wind. You could possibly wait for a slightly move windy day to try this again to get the whole tree blurry and the rock tack sharp. Just a wild and crazy idea. For this frame I would crop about 30% of the sky out even though I really like the color gradation.

Hi Ron, I have to say I like both the rock and the tree in the scene. It combines three elements in nature–rock, tree, water. I think the colors are fantastic too. I agree with @David_Haynes that you could crop a touch of the sky out, but that’s kind of minor in my view. Nicely done.