Big Cypress Sunrise

Hi everyone! I just joined the NPN, and this is my first image. YAY! I hope I post this correctly and included all the info necessary. And I’ll certainly go back and give my 2 cents worth to others’.

I shot this back in June in the Big Cypress National Preserve of southern Florida. I took a weekend trip for my 50th birthday to Everglades City. Woke up dark and early the morning of, just to say I shot a sunrise on my 50th. And what a morning it was! Perfect sunrise, just the right amount of clouds. The sun was rising from the left, I was on the shoulder of a highway, at a 45 degree angle to the road. The shoulder of the highway was full of tall growth with only a few gaps giving me an unobstructed view of the tree island shown in the image so I was limited to where I could shoot from.

As far as feedback, technical or artistic, I’ll take just about anything. I really like this image but I want the honest opinions of real photographers, not just friends and family on FB or IG who would gush over an over-exposed blurry image. God bless 'em but they just don’t know. :grin: I guess I just need to know if anyone would have done anything different, if they would process this different? I’m pretty good with Lr; Ps I’m learning… slowly. Any feedback or critique would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

This is a single shot, taken with a Nikon D4, on a tripod, no filters.
1/15 sec
ISO 100
Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 lens, at 105mm
(And don’t be fooled because I have a D4, it was a used camera a friend had and he sold it to me at a price I couldn’t refuse. :wink: )
IG: @blivieri

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.


Barbara, beautiful shot of the Cypress. Reflections of the clouds in the water. I took a peak at your IG account as well and like the cropped version with the trees close up.

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Barbara, first of all, welcome to NPN. I hope that you find this site to be everything you hope it to be. I sure have enjoyed being here. I also love your image. A very nice first post. Love the clouds and the reflections of them. I’m looking forward to seeing more of your images.

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I love the clouds as well. The tropics have uniquely different clouds than what we see in our temperate regions and you have captured them very well. The composition is pretty straightforward with good light but it’s the clouds that make it. Welcome to NPN. A fine first image indeed.

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Thanks Todd, yeah I took a few different views (some more zoomed in than others) that morning and a couple from across the highway. :smile:

Thank you Shirley! I look forward to posting. :grinning:

Thank you Igor. So true about the cloud formations in the tropics. Especially in the summer. Florida is definitely flat so we call these our “mountains”. It’s the only redeeming thing about the oppressive heat of summer, the spectacular clouds and afternoon storms. One can almost set their watches by them. :smile:


Welcome to NPN. What a grand first post! I thought I had already commented, but clearly my pending senior status must have got the best of me…

This is simply just a beautiful capture. Although I’ve been to Florida a few times, I think this captures the land, atmosphere and environment beautifully. As mentioned already, the clouds are awesome and are captured and processed beautifully.

So much to love about this image. Great job and first post! We look forward to more and already can say we appreciate you jumping right in and participating!


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Hi Barbara! I love the feel of your photo; it’s so peaceful and calming- I think that’s partly from the colors, especially in the sky. Just lovely. If I had to make one constructive criticism, I’d say that the brightest parts of the clouds are a tad hot for my taste. Actually, maybe it’s just the cloud on the right- I think the other two clouds retained enough detail to not draw the eye immediately to them. But take my criticism for what it’s worth- I’m also brand new to NPN and I’m far, far from expert! Beautiful image overall!

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Thanks Lon, very nice to say. And I’m glad to be here!

I agree Drew, a bit hot, as you say. Unfortunately, when I tried reducing the brights, something else would change that I didn’t like. I’m just now diving into the meat of Ps so this image may need a re-edit in the future.
And you’re right about the colors. I have a photographer acquaintance that lives in this area (actually has a very similar image of the exact same trees) and her photos are so softly muted pinks blues and yellows. This was the first time I was lucky enough to get such a sunrise. Looking forward to more. Thanks for the kind words. :grinning:

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