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Reggie Johnson's picture

Long Exposure at Lake Chelan

I was able to head out to Lake Chelan up in the northern part of Washington to spend a day. I took two different shots. One at sunrise and one during sunset. Both were taken at the same area to see how much of a difference there would be between the two times. This is the result. Also any feedback is welcome!

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Phillip Breske's picture

If one of these is sunrise and one is sunset, why is the sun's placement approximately the same in both shots? Or is one of the moon?

Two things I noticed right away: The horizon isn't level in either shot, and the bright sky in the first image has been reduced in post to the point it is dimmer than the reflection in the water. An observant audience will see that the sky was overexposed (no detail around the sun) and then the entire blown-out portion of the sky was brought down to tame the exposure, but once the damage is done, there is nothing you can do to make it look normal. Just lean into the mistake and leave it pure white.

To alleviate the problem next time, you can expose for the highlights and make sure you're shooting RAW, and/or use a gradient filter to darken the sky separately from the foreground. (You could also merge two independently-exposed images, but this requires more work in post that you may or may not want to do.)

Reggie Johnson's picture

I realize the placement is about the same. The timing was a little more on the late side for the sunrise.
I appreciate the comments/critique. That doesn't s make a lot of sense. I will probably end up going back, reset, and then just leave it simple and take your advice on darkening out the sky to compensate for the bright sun. I might also just play with a couple images in post to fix this issue and produce a better quality image. I thank you for the feedback