Shooting into the sun & Image Blends

Here is a shot from Short Sand Beach at sunset where I shot directly into the sun with a dark foreground. I usually don’t have much difficulty with these types of shots but man was this shot difficult. I used two images for an image blend and I’m having trouble figuring out if I did an okay blending of the two. I noticed the wind rustled the greenery at the bottom and image blending was very difficult due to this. I tried my best. I used luminosity masks for the blend.

Also, I’m wondering if I overdid it on the dodging of the light. Sometimes I look at it and think maybe it’s done tastefully, other times its quire opposite.

I guess I can’t decide if the shot is a success or should be taken as a learning experience for the next time I am tasked with this same type of scene.

Sorry, quite the loaded post but any feedback will be very helpful. Thanks!

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Hey Martin,
I really like the composition, and especially like the sunstar reaching into the foreground. I think the blend, and dodging looks good. I don’t see any major issues with either.

For me, and I could be way off on this, I think there is a little too much dark on the very bottom edge. I think a little tighter crop would bring the warm tones in the green foliage out a bit more.

The only thing I would’ve adjusted is that I wish I could see a little more of the water. That might not be possible from where you were positioned, but maybe something to try and add into the scene next time.

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I really like the composition especially shooting from the hidden perspective. The shot creates a sense of “peeking or glimpsing” above the foliage into the scene.
I agree with Ryan’s comments as well. It would be interesting to crop the bottom darkness a bit and see if the changes the mood of the shot too much.

Really nice work!

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Hey @Martin_Gonzalez. I don’t see any obvious evidence of blending so I think you did a fine job with it. I agree with the others about the bottom being too dark and I’m also going to suggest even more dodging on the backlit foliage. It feels a little flat for that amount of light to be hitting them, IMO.

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I like the light here. The image has a peaceful mood that I find pleasing.

The blending job looks good, so no issue there.

The large version opens up the detail nicely. However, I do agree about cropping some off the bottom to just below the lowest fern.

You did a good job handling the extreme dynamic range.

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Looks fine to me! I think the main thing is just not brightening up the shadows too much in these kinds of scenes, which you handled well here.

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Martin, this was a difficult blend (especially with some wind), but you have handled it very well. The way you handled the blending of the sunstar area came out especially well. Agree with other’s comments on cropping the bottom, and dodging thru a lights selection to boost the luminosity in the backlit ferns. Very nicely done…

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Thank you all for the great feedback!

I’ve taken some of your advice and applied it to a new edit below! I cropped out the darker foreground and have dodged the ferns a bit more.

I feel like the composition is a lot more focused as it is now tighter and cuts away some of the darker empty space near the bottom as many of you have mentioned. I’m always scared about dodging too much, or going far with any edit to be honest. It’s nice to know I sometimes don’t dodge enough? Heck maybe I still have some room to dodge.

Thanks again all!

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