Quabbin Sunrise

This sunrise at the Quabbin Reservoir in Central Massachusetts was taken from the same overlook as my previous post (Island in the Fog), but on a different morning. I got lucky with some light haze and mist that prevented the sun from burning out. I am looking for input on the color saturation in the sky here, is it too much, or is it okay? This shot is really a cloudscape so I didn’t want to back off the saturation too much, but again I’ve processed this enough that I’m afraid I have lost my sense of objectivity, so I am looking for others opinions.

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Any and all critique and comments are welcome.

Image reworked based on comments from others, adding contrast to trees, and dodging tall spruce tree in the center.


Beautiful scene! To my eye, the upper clouds look perfect and are the star of the show, but the reds around the sun look a touch saturated, pulling me away from the top. Not a huge thing though, looks pretty nice as is.

Looks great to me. No suggestions except I would increase the contrast a touch which may add some more vibrancy to the sky. That’s a personal preference though

Color interpretation is a personal thing. I’m enjoying this natural look just the way it is.

But I want to talk about the sky. It’s absolutely beautiful. It doesn’t scream at you yet we’ve all seen moments like this and there’s always a sigh as the air is slowly let out of your lungs. The top ‘crown’ is the star of the show. And you know what comes to mind? @Marylynne_Diggs image of the face of that sand dune. It’s interesting how powerful patterns appear in nature in such a variety of places.


Simply gorgeous. A breath-taking view and a moment in time not soon to be forgotten. I think the balance here is just right; just enough of the trees at the bottom for a strong base; not too dark nor too light. The sky is fantastic of course, but I also like the haziness over the landscape as well.

Only small suggestion would be to deal with the darker conifer closest to the sun. Not a huge deal and doesn’t ruin the impact of this image… but I think the darkness of that tree top is ever so slightly distracting. I’m wondering if you could just selectively lighten it to match the luminosity of the other trees? that might be tricky though. Again, very minor.


Ed, beautifully captured and for my taste the colors look really nice. I also like the haziness of this scene, for me it is creates the mood and support that allows the sky to be the star of the show.

Beautiful sunrise. I’ve yet to explore Quabbin area but this makes it a tempting destination . I like the subtle colors you chose, rather than the high saturation usually chosen. Very pleasing image!

Beautiful, Ed. I love the bright spring greens and the sky is gorgeous. Processing looks good but I think the immediate foreground line of trees would benefit from a boost in contrast.

@Lon_Overacker @Igor_Doncov @Patricia_Brundage @Alan_Kreyger @Harley_Goldman @Dave_Dillemuth @Nathan_Klein thank you all for your comments and suggestions, they are appreciated. Lon, I agree about the tree, some dodging would help. Dave I think you are right about a bit more contrast in the trees, thanks for the tip. I have posted a rework reflecting these change back in the original post reflecting these comments.

Igor, in my own evaluation of this image I view it more as a cloud-scape than a sunrise. To me the shapes in the clouds near the crown are way more interesting than the sky colors near the sun. And I agree, the clouds do bear a resemblance to sand dune ripples.

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Very beautiful image, Ed. The sky looks perfect for my taste - delicate and very natural, with a nice placement of the horizon. The reworking of the trees looks good ( though little wrong in the first place !! ).

Wow, what a grand view, Ed. That sunrise looks like the perfect way to start the day to me. I am really enjoying the layers in this along with the way those warmly toned clouds are fanning out across the sky. That slight haze or fog in the lower hills helps create some lovely mood to this gorgeous scene. I find myself going against the consensus here as I would like just a touch more saturation in the sky, but that is just a personal choice and not a criticism because this is lovely as is. Beautifully done!