Miles Lake Morning / Using Reflections to Add Interest

Miles Lake Morning #1
Miles Lake Morning #1

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When I went out to the Parklands the other morning I was hoping to get a dramatic sunrise but the eastern sky was empty. I decided to hike along the southern shore of Miles Lake to see if there might be something else in there to photograph. About half way to the end of the lake I looked behind me and saw that there was a weather front moving in from the west. I noticed that the clouds were creating an interesting reflection in the placid surface of the lake so I set up my tripod and shot a three frame bracket at -2, 0, and +2 EV.

Back home in my studio I opened the three images in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 where I merged them and since the morning had been calm I only applied 20% anti-ghosting to the merged files. Once they were merged I applied the Deep #1 preset and made some adjustments to the contrast, white, blacks, shadows and highlights sliders. I then returned the image to Aperture 3 where I adjusted the recovery and vibrance sliders very slightly before sharpening and saving the image.

8 thoughts on “Miles Lake Morning / Using Reflections to Add Interest

  1. Nick,
    Nice photo, nicely done.
    Question. You seem to do your HDR using a 3-frame bracket. Why? Assuming your camera can do more, say a 5+ frame bracket, why do you choose only 3? Right now, I do 5-frame, though as I ramp up my outdoor work again this season I’m thinking of trying 3.

    Thoughts?
    JT…

    1. I used to do many more exposures but after a lot of experimentation I settled on three exposures 2 stops apart. I was seeing a lot more noise when I used 5 or more exposures without any noticeable improvement in the final image. I watch my histogram very closely and make my decisions based on that. As long as I have a full range of data in the three frames I am satisfied. It’s working for me. The other factor with landscapes in particular is movement. I’m finding that fewer frames really helps keep ghosting in check.

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