In the Fog

This was shot at Scottsbluff National Monument. I had an image in mind using the very early morning sun as it lit up the monument and the sunflowers that made a leading line. But by the time I got there it was all socked in by fog and I could not even see the monument. So I decided to use the fog to saturate and highlight the different colors of the prairie flora. This was shot before the sun came up and was very blue in the original RAW file. I wanted to bring out the color so I brought the color temperature up. Thanks for your comments and critiques.

Canon 7D
Sigma 17-70
Shutter 2 sec.
Aperture f16
ISO 800
54 mm
Tripod and 2 sec lock up

Richard, you usually can’t go wrong shooting in fog, and these weather conditions work very well for this scene. The soft overcast light really brought out some nice subtle colors here. I think your choice of white balance in post-processing here is spot on, the colors look very good.

In terms of composition, I think the right side of the image is stronger than the left side. The sunflowers are more dense on the right. I also think the brown bush in the lower left corner is a bit of a distraction, and it is soft, perhaps due to motion blur. If this were my image, I’d consider using a square crop retaining the right half or so of the image. I like the sense of depth created by the receding layers here, but I would crop to eliminate or minimize the brown plant in the lower left.

I really like the mood created by this image, and I think it is worth some time working it a little more from a composition standpoint via cropping. it might be possible to remove the LLC bush via content aware fill or cloning, that would allow you to retain more of the original crop.

I think the colors are just wonderful. I also like the pano format. Even though the ‘sunflowers’ are the main show the color and texture of the lower grass is marvelous. And the bluish sagebrush is great. It takes great awareness to pick up on all this in the field. The composition of 2 sagebrushes on opposite of the image is a bit of a problem as your eyes go back and forth. But cropping from the left would change the wide sense of the image or you would have to remove some of that great grass on the bottom. Nevertheless I would probably like to see a crop from left and bottom to compare.

Beautiful concept and follow through. From an emotional standpoint, this image grabs me and immediately draws my attention, which is what we all wish for with our images. Closer inspection reveals a few “blimps”, which have already been mentioned (brown plant in the LLC, lower density of flowers on the left), but neither of those is a deal killer. In fact, the lower density of flowers actually makes the images stronger in my opinion because it makes the image “real”, if that makes any sense to anyone; “perfect” images can be boring. I love the soft variety of colors in the foreground, and absolutely love the contrast in the colors of the grass and the bluish bushes. If I had a wish, it might be to brighten the individual flowers just a bit (maybe 10% or so) to make them “pop” a little more and then perhaps carefully burn the FG grass just a wee bit to again bring more attention to the “popped” flowers, being VERY judicious with both the pop and burning so it wouldn’t look unnatural. Beautiful capture though, Richard, and a great eye to capture it so effectively.

Beautiful. I really like the mood and the painterly look to the scene. I like the comp as is. The sage (I think it is sage) in the fore balances nicely and the fact there are more blooms to the right doesn’t bother me a bit, it actually works well for me. I like this a lot.

I love the mood and image, Richard. Are you familiar with the ‘rule of odds’? With the two sagebrush sharing equal parts of the frame, I find my eyes bouncing back and forth between them not knowing when to stop. A third (or lone) shrub can arrest this dance of the eyes. It’s a good image regardless.

Can I ask why you went with ISO800? Were you trying to arrest wind movement? The large version shows a fair bot of noise (enhanced by the ISO). Generally speaking, if no wind movement and tripod-mounted, your lowest native ISO is preferred for highest quality capture.

Good image!

It was very low light when I shot the image.

Hi Richard: was there any breeze/wind motion? If your camera is tripod mounted and there is no unwanted subject motion, shooting at the lowest native ISO will net the highest quality files (reduced noise). A good reason for higher ISO would be be unwanted motion in a low ISO capture; bumping ISO to freeze motion may prove beneficial under this scenario.