Make sure you stop along the way (+1 crop version)

and a 1:1 crop -

Forest reflections in a quiet stream…part of what makes the woods so magical, especially in the fall. This was in a bit of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.

Specific Feedback Requested

Is the light too much? It was a sunny day, but I figured what the heck.

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Tripod and CPL


Lr for all processing - a bit of lens correction and transform to manage perspective a bit. Adjusted white balance a little, brought greens down, added texture and some clarity & sharpening. Lots of work with brushes, radial and gradient filters to manage the wide dynamic range.

A wonderful place to stop!! I think the tonal range is very well-managed. I could see another version, cropping the trunks in the BG to just focus on the water, which is so lovely!

What a beautiful scene. It’s not too bright at all - feels like a very pleasant fall afternoon. I like Diane’s idea for a crop, too.

Not too bright for me, either. Although I see the merit in @Diane_Miller suggestion, I still prefer as presented. I like the background trees.

Thanks @Bonnie_Lampley, @Diane_Miller & @Jim_Gavin - glad it wasn’t a disaster. Not so pleasing light, but a perfect fall day so sometimes I take chances and hope I can smooth things in post. If the water wasn’t mostly in shade I wouldn’t have bothered.

I put a cropped version at the top for comparison.

I’d leave a little more on top to let the bank provide a little framing to stop the eye from wandering out of the frame. I also removed the red cast in the darks, for comparison.

Screen Shot 2022-04-22 at 1.31.55 PM

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Thanks @Diane_Miller - I always forget you can reduce RGB with the curves tool. I did look at using the HSL panel to do it, but it wasn’t working out. I’ve also tried with the Calibration panel as well. The water is super tannic though, so the red, while possibly too much, is totally natural. I like your crop as well.

Hey, @Diane_Miller - I can’t believe I never knew this. Thanks for cluing me in, it’s definitely a tool I’ll add to my kit.
@Kris_Smith - As suggested by Bonnie and Diane, I prefer the crop from the top the top over that from the bottom. That being said I think I prefer the original overall.

@Kerry_Gordon, you’re welcome! Color casts in darks are pretty common and not always easy to notice. I learned about it from astrophotography years ago.

I still prefer the original.There is something about those trees that attracts me.

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Thanks @Kerry_Gordon & @Jim_Gavin - the far treeline draws me in as well, but it tends to make the water less important so I understand why cropping could make this stronger for some folks.

I’m so glad we can share processing ideas and techniques. I’ve learned SO MUCH from being on NPN.