Teton Sunrise w/recommended edits


added additional global light

Added black and shadow recovery in the foreground and left the rest of the image alone. :slight_smile:

Critique Style Requested: Standard

The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.


This is from my recent trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National parks a few weeks ago. The intention of the trip was a focus on wildlife but when opportunity called, I switched up to landscapes. This was one such morning. I was actually on my way to find a grizzly bear that I had shot the day before in hopes of getting better images when I was noticing how nice the clouds were stacking up against the Tetons. I pulled off the side of the road and fired off about 10 minutes worth of grand scenics, something I haven’t really done much of recently. The foreground was still pitch black but the higher peaks and clouds were getting hit by some nice light. Let me know if I should add a touch of light to the foreground or not. Also, let me know if you see any crops that you think might work.
I also pulled over about 10 minutes later to shoot oxbow bend because the conditions were pretty good so why not. If there is anything else you notice that needs attention, please let me know your thoughts. Thanks for taking a look.

Technical Details

Z8, 100-400 @ 150mm, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/160, hand held, manual exposure

Gorgeous!!! I love the way the peaks are engulfed by the clouds, with the dramatic light! I like the slight bit more detail in the FG in the second one but the brightest clouds are getting a bit washed out. They look like they would be amenable to the Highlights slider unless you have already maxed it out. In that case, a very soft-edged masked Curves would probably do a good job, or probably several other methods – some TK stuff maybe…

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This is one of those images that just grabs you. The light is wonderfully dramatic as is the color contrast with the mountains. I’m with @Diane_Miller about the second image. Perhaps you could selectively raise the luminosity of the foreground only.

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Thanks , Diane. I’m on a short trip and will be back Friday evening and will look at just bumping the shadows. What’s weird is that every time I post an image I lose about a 1/3 to a 1/2 stop of light. I always convert to sRGB so I know that’s not it but my files are always darker on NPN and even my SmugMug website. Not sure what going on but I agree entirely with what you’re saying.
Thanks so much for your thoughts.

David: One of my favorite places on the planet captured in wonderful conditions. I’ll often shoot these high contrast scenes with multiple exposures and then play with HDR. Not sure if that would have benefited you a bunch here as this is pretty spectacular as is. Glad you stopped and hope you had equally good luck with you bear hunt. >=))>

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I love a combination of drama and beauty, and this does that well David. I’ve never been to this area, but it’s on the bucket list. The extra pop on the edit looks good.

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Thanks, Bill. There was really no need to bracket this shot since the histogram looked good. My issue seems to be that when I post I loose about a third to half stop of exposure. I have no idea why. I wanted the foreground to be dark indicating this was well before the sun was high enough to light the foreground and I wanted the focus to be more on the mountains. I will repost an edit of a selective bump in the foreground shadows when I get back home on Friday. I had decent luck with bear that day but a rnger was there making sure nobody got any closer than 100 yards but I’d say it was more like 150 to 200 yards. Thanks again, Bill.

What a dramatic and beautiful image! For me, the ideal version would be a combo of the two images you posted. I love the original but that layer of trees at the bottom looks a smidge better in the second image.

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I like the atmosphere conveyed here.

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@Diane_Miller , @DeanRoyer , @Bill_Fach , @John_Williams , @Tom_Nevesely , @Igor_Doncov , thanks for guiding me towards a better edited image. I still don’t know why I lose so much exposure when posting but it required that I manipulate my images in LR to be 1/3 to 1/2 lighter and in LR they look terrible in that exposure so getting it right in NPN is VERY difficult for me. It’s total guesswork for the exposure. Let me know you thoughts on this final edit.

I’ve been meaning to get back to this exposure question – not that I have any clue of an answer, but somebody must! It’s not something I’ve seen, and it sounds like your posting from LR would be similar to mine.

Is it possible that the difference is just a perceived one, due to the white borders being on the post here compared to viewing the un-framed file in LR? I’m sure you have thought of that but it’s the first thing to ask.

If you go to a post here and download it and compare it to the JPEG you posted, (probably easiest as layers in PS) is the one you downloaded lighter? They should be the same size and easy to toggle the top layer on and off with the histogram open.

Both should be in sRGB so you would want to convert to the PS working space for each as you open them.

If so, it sounds like something is going on on this end… But only for you, or maybe a few others who aren’t really noticing.

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Thanks for trying to help, Dianne. It’s not perceived. It’s real as the file in LR also has the white border. The same thing happens when I upload to Dropbox. It must be something with conversion when I export but I’m converting sRGB on all exports. I’ve had this issue for years and years with no remedy. Thanks for trying though. I very much appreciate iate the effort.

I was pretty (as in really) sure of that. The Dropbox thing is somehow a clue – I wish I knew what it meant, though. I’ll PM you with a vague idea.