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Daniel Rowland's picture

Grand Tetons Sunrise, Suggestions?

This past week I was in the Tetons with very few days of clear skies. On this morning it was about -10 degrees outside. It was not the most spectacular sunrise, but the tops of the mountains were kissed by the sun.

I'm always looking for ways to improve my photography, any suggestions are welcome. I struggle with editing and getting the image I have in my head into the final product.

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I don't know, but it does seem to be a lot of near-featureless sky. Could crop that. The mountains below the fog layer might get increased contrast?? The trees with snow are interesting. Maybe brighten that area a little. Try a Levels adjustment by clicking on the gray part of the lower mountains to see if that helps. But back to what I said at the first--I don't have a lot of expertise.

Also, is it level? Could take care of that when you crop.

Here is what I was suggesting earlier.

It's not crooked. I've been there, there is a slope, that's how the terrain is. You can see the same slope on the famous Ansel Adams shot.


Francisco B's picture

Lol, no wonder it reminded me of an ansel adams shot! Daniels modern interpretation is great though.

Yeah the terrain may be like that, but it does give the impression that the framing is crooked. As you can see from Ansels shot, he burns the right side of the image, maybe partially to hide the slope. Such an iconic landscape photo.

There is an outlook by the road from which you have the view Daniel took. Unfortunately nowadays trees are fully grown and you can't have the S curve of the Snake river present on the Ansel Adams shot.

I think the photo has a lot of unrealized potential. You need to add more vibrance to the sunlit mountains and the trees, maybe a bit to the sky.
I don't agree about cropping the sky though, they are helping with the rule of thirds.

Ken Savage's picture

It's perhaps too subtle with color and contrast. The coolness and flatness work for a snowy/wintery scene but perhaps too much.

Francisco B's picture

Everyone on this site is so used to seeing cooked images lol. This photo is great, maybe make it a hair punchier with contrast, and straighten the image. Reminds me of ansel adams for its proper simplicity. The subtle red and blues from the mountain are amazing.

Mark Guinn's picture

Wow, that's beautiful. Honestly, it's difficult for me to find anything to gripe about in this image... I'd be happy with it as is. And Francisco's comparison to Adams' image just makes it even better!

For my personal taste, I opened it up in Adobe Camera Raw and tweaked it just a bit. I bumped up the Dehaze to bring out the sky, and then bumped up the clarity just a little to make those mountains really pop. That's just for me, though. Either way, this is a great capture that you should be proud of!

The "trick" here is to adjust the colors so you arrive at the blue/orange/yellow color harmony (see color theory for an explanation).

1 - Get the white balance right, take the snow at the base as a reference point.
2 - Straighten the horizon. Even if there actually is a slope, 99.9% of the people will not know and it will look slanted to them.
3 - Cool down stuff that is in the shade
4 - Add one or more gradients to get more color in the sky, watch out where the light is coming from and place your gradient(s) accordingly

If you do that, this will be the result: