Reflection Found at Lost Lake

I woke early hoping to catch morning light by a crystal calm lake but unfortunately, gray cloudy skies had other plans! Luckily the wind was slight enough that I was able to mostly smooth the lake surface using a 6-stop ND filter but the clouds never broke enough to allow direct light or color. While subtle, I still really like how the aspens stand out on both the hillside and reflection.

What technical feedback would you like if any?


What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Any feedback is gladly welcomed, but more specifically, feedback on how to improve the edit would be appreciated. The overcast skies prevented any direct spotlighting on the mountainside and felt it was going to be tricky to create enough interest without getting into the “overcooked” territory.

Compositionally I usually avoid centered images, but in this case like the symmetry created by the reflection. The part I still feel torn on is tightening the crop to something like 16x9 to lose the top and bottom edges as they don’t add much interest.

Any pertinent technical details:

Fuji X-T2 | 10 sec (6-stop filter) | f/8 | 18mm | ISO 200
Single image edit

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

I like this picture! I think the reflection is nice, the yellow is a nice little detail, the mountain is framed well and the motion of the clouds is interesting. I tried cropping it and also burning the sky a bit, and did not find that to be better than what you have here. I think you did a great job creating interest despite a lack of interesting light.

I think you did a nice job with the light and the scene that was presented to you. Good choice on using the ND to slow things down to help with the reflection.

I wish for a wider view, but don’t know what was there so maybe that’s not possible. Looks like a good place for a pano.

I also think the processing could push the pixels around just a bit more to create a bit more drama. The overall image feels a bit cold to me so warming it up I think would also help. Here’s a quick edit that shows what I was thinking.

Thanks for the feedback Keith!

I had the exact same thought about panos while I was shooting but funny enough it was the tighter crop that I liked more once I started reviewing them on my computer. Now that you point it out the WB was definitely too cool, I like your warmer & higher contrast edit.

Appreciate it Brent. Guess I’ll just have to go back again to find some more interesting light!

Lovely subtle image. My eye wants to jank the comp a bit to the left as it feels a bit off balance. Processing and such are on point though. Fun spot!


The overall scene is great! I’d use the graduated tool in PS or ACR to bring down the exposure in the water. The water should be darker than the sky. You might also use the dehaze too to bring out just a bit more detail in the sky. Overall it’s a great image!

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Excellent suggestion, especially on the water exposure level. I probably took it too far while trying to balance out the exposure to reinforce the symmetry :grin:

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