Bow River Sunrise

I was on a family vacation and I had a walk in the evening by the river, when I got to this point I thought to myself that if tomorrow morning is not cloudy then this is exactly what I will see, I got up a little late and only managed to take two pictures before the sun rose high and the light became too strong.

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Technical Details

Canon EOS m50; ISO 100; 10mm (Crop); f11; 0.6 sec
4-stop ND filter

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Hi Ron, and welcome to NPN – you’ll find this a great place to grow as a photographer! This is a very nice introductory post. The long shutter speed gave a nice smoothness to the water and the light on the mountains is wonderful. For me, the top feels a bit crowded – I long to see a little more of the clouds and a little less of the relatively less-interesting water. I like the inclusion the the rocks for a foreground but maybe getting lower could have given a slightly different view.

My eye gets pulled by the blow-out highlights in the clouds and I wonder if that can be mitigated with different processing. If you can tell us how you processed it that could lead to some useful ideas.

Hi Ron. Beautiful capture and light. I like the complimentary blue and yellow colours. There’s some fringing around the the main rock on the BRS. If you are using LR or PS you can fix this with a mask. I love the different layers in the image and how they help to give it a sense of depth.

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Welcome to NPN. The color of that river is pretty amazing. In fact, it’s striking. You had some great light over those mountains.

One thing to look at are those leaning trees. The ones on the right lean to the right and the left lean left. You could correct that using warp in photoshop.

There is a potentially great panorama here if you crop off the bottom area.

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Hi Ron. I really like this photo. The contrasting colors are appealing and I like the leading line in the water pointing to the mountain peak. As others have pointed out there is some lens distortion in the trees on the left and right side.

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Welcome to NPN Ron! What a terrific place to capture an image. That water color is just stellar. The early morning light on the mountains is really sweet. You mentioned that you cropped this? Do you have any more canvas on top or bottom? If so, I think the image could benefit from more room on top and bottom. A couple of other points have already been brought up about the perspective distortion with trees on both sides of the frame leaning outward and also about the hot spots in the clouds. If you shot this in RAW then you may be able to pull some detail out of those hot spots in the clouds.
I see a portrait that may also work here. You have a terrific leading line in the water that goes straight to the left mountain. Here is what I mean. I’m at work so I can’t fix the trees but easy enough to straighten them. Have fun with the site Ron.


The leaning trees are due to the extremely wide-angle lens being pointed slightly down. Our brains tend to correct this sort of thing and it can be hard to notice it. If it had been possible to aim level and then crop for composition in post, the trees (being on the natural horizon line) would be vertical, probably with some much smaller degree of lens distortion that could be corrected with a profile.

As it is, the simplest correction is an Edit > Transform and pull in the two top edges until the trees are vertical. Holding down Shift will keep you from moving the corners up or down. But of course that will necessitate a lot of crop from the sides.

Welcome to NPN, Ron. This is a stunning grand landscape. I can see what others say about the leaning trees, but it doesn’t bother me that much. I will say that I really like @David_Haynes’s crop and composition. It brings out the water as a direct contrast to the mountain. The lines in the water lead you right to the mountain too.

I hope to see more of your work here, Ron.



What a beautiful first post for your welcome to NPN! Classic glacial influenced landscape from the Canadian Rockies! I just love that standing wave in the aqua river - I think the middle of the river there anchors the scene.

Great feedback so far with most of which I agree. All of them are pretty much small tweaks to elevate this from a great and wonderful image - to an outstanding one! -dealing with the bright cloud in the upper left, UL. - the leaning trees, and - feeling a little crowded up top. The last one, I think even a slight-of-hand “stretch” of the sky could provide just enough room…

Otherwise, this is quite the beauty and I can just see this hanging large somewhere…

Welcome aboard! We look forward to more images and your participation!


Thanks Diane for your welcome greetings and for the great feedback, and interesting ideas! I’m aware of the blow-out clouds but this is the best I can get, processed by Lightroom and photoshop, I wonder if it will be better to change the sky a little or use the clone tool…

Thanks, Andre, I’ll try to do some work with the mask

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Blown-out whites can easily be beyond rescue. A linear profile can help sometimes, but still it’s limits.
Cloning can often work, using a soft-edged low-opacity brush (maybe around 20-30%) and repeated strokes from different areas to build up slowly.

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Welcome to NPN Ron! Great first post. You have received some great input on minor tweaks , as Lon put it .

Look forward to more of your work and participation.

Thank you very much four your fidback David,
Unfortunately I didn’t crop it, this is all I’ve got…

Thank you very much for the greetings and feedback Lon!