Stress relief

Quiet water paddling is my favorite thing to do. I especially love to explore nooks, crannies, backwaters and side-channels. If there’s an opening, I’ll stick the boat in it. If you do that enough, you come into some secret worlds where only canoes and kayaks can reach. Like this backwater on the Spirit River. I’ve posted a few images of this amazing place and no doubt you’ll see more.

This spot is VERY shallow. There are a lot of sticks and roots under there that hang up the boat constantly. It’s sort of like solving a puzzle to try to get from one place to another when it gets like this. The good thing is that if I get really stuck I can just stand up.

For this shot I got into position and waited until my ripples had diminished for the most part. I find that even if I’m not paddling or doing anything, there is still vibration that comes from me. So not a perfect reflection, but hopefully a shot of perfect peace. That’s what it is for me.

Specific Feedback Requested

Ideas, impressions…all welcome. I deliberately took the clarity down and didn’t add much in the way of local contrast - to keep it soft and inviting.

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Handheld. Can’t remember if I beached the boat for this, but I think so. I also had to try to manage some overhead branches and stay out of their way.


spirit bower

Lr for all editing - a lot to manage the huge range of tonalities and make sure color and lens calibration were in force. Used some masks and gradient filters to further direct the eye and smooth out transitional zones. Cropped to straighten and a 5:7 ratio to eliminate more sky and uninteresting right side.

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My favorite places to explore as well Kris. The soft ripples in the water give it a painterly effect and the curved branch forms an almost perfect circle in the center. Well seen and captured.

Ahhhh. Very nice. The curves just pull me in and I want to stay for along time. Thank you.

Thanks @JohnSnell and @Jim_Lockhart - glad you feel the pull. I did, too. Not that I could get much farther. One of my goals is to come at this from the other side and see if I can do it from there. Behind the far grasses is another “pond” that I tried getting to from back that way and off to the right only to be blocked by a very old beaver dam. Too funny.

This is very peaceful. The “window” created by the curved branch and its reflection draws me in. I love the slight ripples from your canoe. They make this much more interesting than if the reflection was “perfect”.

Gorgeous curves in the branches, framing a classic view. It would be very interesting to go there in softer lighting conditions.

I wonder about reducing the reds in the shadows in the reflection.

Thanks @Bonnie_Lampley & @Diane_Miller - I plan to explore this area again if it ever gets warmer. Will try for a softer lit day, but it’s chancey and if it gets too dim, I have to crank the ISO too much. Always the dilemma. Of course that’s canopy dependent as well, if I go early the leaves will still be small. But then again it also depends on water level. Some years these areas just aren’t accessible because the water level is too low. Here’s hoping though!

I think I may have actually increased the red in the water in order to keep it from being basically featureless. Maybe that wasn’t the right approach. I don’t know, almost all the waters I’ve photographed have been tannic. It’s just a feature of where I live and so the redness is normal to me.