Otter Cove

I thought the Rugosa roses made a colorful FG element while looking out at Otter Cove in Acadia NP. The trick is you have to wait for them to open in the morning before the skies get to bright. The sky could have been a little better, but I am relatively happy with the image.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

All C&C welcome

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

All C&C welcome

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

(If this is a composite, etc. please be honest with your techniques to help others learn)
Nikon D800, Nikon 17-35 @ 28 mm, f 18 @ 1/25 sec, ISO 400, CPL, cable release & tripod

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You’re right, those foreground roses make for one beautiful foreground element. And then the two opposing extensions of the land and forest create a pleasing symmetry.

I think though, the blank sky isn’t really doing much. In fact, with the flowering plant, the lake and opposing bits of land - they all lead the eye to that blank area. One impression I do get after viewing this for a bit is that horizon line - makes me think of one of those edge-less pools you might find at a fancy mountain resort. (I think you might get the idea.)

Is there any way to squeeze out some contrast or detail in the sky. I think I can make out some clouds. Would be nice to let the eye have a reward. Hope that makes sense.


Ed, this image has a wonderful composition and color. The arrangement of rugosa probably couldn’t have been laid out any better than you have done here, Everything is so well balanced, the rugosa, and the shore of the cove, it’s just a nice composition overall. The magenta/green color combination here is killer, and your saturation level looks great.

With that said, i do agree with @Lon_Overacker, about wanting to see more definition in the sky, as Lon points out everything in this composition points the viewer’s eye to the sky. And I’m a big believer of using lines or composition to lead to something interesting. Hopefully you have another exposure bracket to blend in here, with luminosity masks it should be relatively easy. Even if you don’t, I think there is more detail to retrieve from this single image. I reworked it to select the sky via Lights 3 LM, reduced exposure, and added some cooling blue/cyan to sky and water, Then I added a strong vignette, but only to the top half of the image (masking it away from the shore so it just affects sky). This image has such a nice composition and flowers that it’s well worth making a big processing effort to recover sky detail.

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Beautiful scene, Ed. Those roses is a very nice foreground. I do like the rework done by Ed McGuirk.

Wow, that is quite impressive @Ed_McGuirk what you were able to squeeze of the sky - and a downsized jpg to boot! You edits make a world of difference!

@Ed_Lowe - we need to hire this guy.

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Ed, the roses are lovely. The soft lighting lets their color and the details in their leaves show very well. The embracing arms of land are a good touch. This is a real photographic challenge since the roses need full daylight to open but the soft light of an overcast to avoid too much contrast. The extra contrast in the sky adds nicely (you can do that using subtracted luminosity masks to choose a relatively specific set of tones). I can also see cropping from the top to minimize (or even eliminate) the sky and add emphasis to the roses.

Thanks for your thought’s everyone @Lon_Overacker, @Ed_McGuirk, @Shirley_Freeman and @Mark_Seaver; they are always appreciated.
@Lon_Overacker: I hear you on the sky and will do a rework after returning home. You are right, we need to hire Ed.:grinning:
@Ed_McGuirk: Thanks for taking the time with a repost. The tweaks definitely help.
@Mark_Seaver: Good idea with the crop, I will give it a go.