Primordial Dawn

This was taken on one of our month long canoe trips that my wife and I take every August. This is on the Bloodvein River that flows from Northwestern Ontario down to Lake Winnipeg. I finally got around to printing this today and it came out beautifully. I’m always concerned that an image like this is too dark but printing really helps to settle the debate. I’d be interested on any feedback concerning composition, any comments on work in post and the extent to which the primordial mood I was trying to convey comes across.
P.S. Looking at this more carefully, I wonder if the gold in the mist isn’t too much. Perhaps it would be better to lower the intensity and instead of gold paint with a reddish tone more in line with the rock.

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

Beautiful. Tremendous depth. And I bet it made a beautiful print. The only question I would ask is how much you want the eye drawn to the horizontal white waterline on the rocks. Personally, I would tone that down a little and lighten the rock above to bring a little more detail out of it. I’m drawn to dark scenes if I can still see some detail in them. Matter of taste I’m sure.

Thanks, Rick, for your reply and critique. I see the waterline as a leading line in the way it takes the eye into the mist - at least that’s my intent. What I found really helpful was your comment on bringing out more detail above the water line. I realized when I looked at the print that it was a bit too dark and muddy so I’ve taken your advice and brought up the darks contrast and I think it really helps the image. Much appreciated.

Very magical and moody. I think the gold areas with the tree stumps is perfect in intensity. I, also, am drawn a bit to the white horizontal area on the rocks just above the waterline, and would burn it a bit.
Exceptional image -

The muted light through the fog makes this for me, especially with the silhouettes of the trees.

I love the mood in this one Kerry. The light, color and dark, low contrast treatment are really beautiful. The tree silhouettes appearing in the fog and orange light in the back are what especially make this image for me.

I think the mist is the best part. No, I wouldn’t suggest lowering the intensity. I’m not on a calibrated monitor at the moment but some of the detail on the left seems dark so if there is anything to work on I would suggest starting there.

Thank you all for taking the time to look and offer feedback. It is very much appreciated. What I decided to do in the end was bring up the darks contrast in the rock above the waterline and bring down some of the brightness in the waterline itself. These are pretty subtle changes but I think it gets the image closer to my vision as well as working better as a print. Here is the revised version.

Nice title for the subject matter. I am in the camp that wants just a little more detail in the cliff above the waterline. I don’t know if it would lessen or increase the impact of the mystery and mood you’ve got working here. The water line certainly leads the viewer. The golden light and the trees in the background are magic. Great image, Kerry.

The mood and the overall feel of the image is fantastic!. I also really like the colours and soft light and your newly re-edited version with the toned down bright areas make this image even better.


This is wonderful! Unique in some ways, especially how the light peers through the fog, and behind land’s end. I think the color/sat of that light is perfect. The mood and atmosphere are excellent as well. Not sure why I thought of this, but for some reason this makes me think of a movie set, where something unexpected is about to happen…

Great job on the rework. I think you nailed it.


Thank you Stephen, Tom and Lon. So much of it is about getting my ass out of my sleeping bag early enough to catch the splendour and mystery of it all.

I think the light and the gold are perfect. Nice sense of mystery in this image.

Love the beautiful light, visibility and colour receding in the distance.