Waterbirds in fog

There seem to be two definitions of high key photography; 1) A normally exposed subject with a completely white background and 2) An image where the histogram is predominently to the right (bright) and little or no shadows are seen. Neither of those is how I usually shoot and/or process, so this topic has me exploring my processing. Here’s a look at some waterbirds and their wakes on a local reservoir in a heavy fog. In reality it was quite dark but I am liking the effect of pushing the histogram well to the right, with the tiniest hint of the trees on the far shore. Cropped to 8.5 x 11.


I definitely like the effect. Thanks for sharing, I’ll have to try something like this. I am wondering if the horizon line is straight. Hard to tell with it being so light.

There is so much to like about the images being posted in this Challenge. I like the images posted, but it’s interesting to see the different processes as well.

The hint of colour is very appealing and your processing is effective.

I agree the image may need a very slight rotation.

I really like this one, Mark. The processing is very effective and looks great. Excellent dreamy look. No nits here.

Wonderful, Mark. Totally enjoying how the ducks are all swimming in opposite directions. The gradation from white to dark work very well, IMHO, as it still leaves plenty of information for me to enjoy. Very nicely seen and captured.

About the image: I can simply repeat the comment of Harley Goldman.
About high key: to me a high key image is an image with the histogram predominantly to the right, so an overall bright image, but with some elements that add contrast. So these elements must be dark. My definition needs e.g. the dark duck in the FG. You fullfilled all conditions :smiley:
I think that most high key images are created in post-processing, but of course the subject must be suitable and the selected exposure can help. In analog times, the exposure and processing were both crucial.

Looks like this will make a very soothing image on a wall Mark. Time to start thinking like this!. Having those trees come out just this much is what makes this so nice
I wonder if this would have more impact if you had just the one prominent waterfowl ( LRC )

I really like the processing on this image. This image slowly fades from foreground to background and I enjoy the hint of trees on the far shore. Funny - I think your image is straight but the ducks are swimming crooked!

@kelly_cole @glennie @Chris_Baird
Since it’s come up so often, I feel the need to comment on the “level horizon issue”. There are two pieces to the puzzle. First, there’s a small waterway entering the far side of the reservoir at a roughly 45 degree angle to the camera. The rules for creating perspective in 2D require that the waterline not be horizontal. (Think about a drawing of a house from one corner where you can view two sides…the tops and bottoms of those two sides cannot be horizontal if you want to show perspective.) Second, due to the same 3D to 2D perspecitve issue, the wakes from the swimming birds will only be horizontal if the birds are swimming exactly parallel to the camera back.