Sweets for Breakfast

hey everyone,

i have come to this famous lake countless times in the past 10 years to shoot a sunrise of cerro torre. this shot turned out to be one of my favourites. patagonian pre dawn glow rarely disappoints.

thanks for taking the time to look and comment.

Specific Feedback Requested

i have been struggling with saturation and contrast levels here. i’m torn between subtlety and punch. i wonder what your thoughts are.

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
50mm, f8, 2.5 seconds.


Hey Joerg!
This shot is incredible, such a cool place

I’d swing towards subtlety just because it’s more sophisticated

I did a little re-edit:

  • I brought down the highlights & whites in the foreground using a gradient in camera raw to help draw the eye through the image ideally towards the warm mountain peak
  • I then went into the HSL sliders and brought down the saturation of the blues - I’m finding my eye keeps looking at the ice in the middle left & this helps draw it back out to the amazing scene
  • Also in the HSL sliders I shifted the orange saturation down a little to fit in with the blues

Hopefully, this helps!

Personally, I think you are near a good compromise with this. You have enough sat and contrast in my view. I prefer subtlety and you have a nice balance here.

First off I can see why this is one of your favorites, Joerg. The saturation and contrast look perfect to my eye and I think you found the perfect balance. The view is gorgeous as is the contrasting warm and cool tones. Beautifully done!

To my uneducated eye this looks absolutely lovely. I’m particularly impressed with the composition and layout of the various icy patches. There’s great balance between so many different elements that the eye can explore and focus on. I do think many of the tones look pretty natural, though the glacial blues in the distant formations (in the middle) appear a touch too vibrant on my screen.

If you’re selectively editing some of these elements, then I would push for toning those down, while possibly bumping the contrast of the nearest ice (that appears flat to me, in comparison to the rest of the ice). Again, not being familiar with your editing style, that’s only one possible route. And as a non-landscape photographer, I am impressed with what you’ve done regardless!

Spectacular location and alpenglow. In terms of composition, you handled the placement of the small icebergs really well, they are additive to the image, and not distractions. While the alpenglow on the peaks is great , I also really love the strong X-shape of the shadowed mountains, it adds an excellent graphic element to the composition.

I think you struck a nice balance here too. After you consider the light, to me the next best thing about this image are the graphic shapes and lines. Too much saturation and pop might detract from those aspects of the image. To look realistic, you have to keep the saturation of the shadow areas restrained. You did that here except for the item noted by @Max_Waugh , the ice along the shore in the mid-ground looks too saturated, especially relative to the saturation level of its surroundings.

My only suggestion is about color/white balance, which is of course a subjective matter of personal taste. I do think your presentation here looks fine. But my own personal taste would be to go slightly warmer, and to reduce the saturation of the shoreline ice.

This is really nice and you are really lucky to have been able to visit this place that many times! The light here is beautiful and I like the simple composition. I also really like the contrast between the colour on the mountain and the cool blues in the water and sky.