Attempt at landscape

MolitorPhotography

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I've really been wanting to get better at landscape photography, since my focus is usually on portraiture it is a nice change of pace. I usually find it difficult to frame properly but have been trying to get better. I had a lens on this morning while camping that I usually use only out of necessity because it is my only zoom, my 55-200 DX. I was trying to get a close up of the blue heron, but my favorite photo was a shot backed out to 55mm which is still a length I don't normally think about for landscape, but I am pretty happy with it. Was hoping to get a little critique on it. Do I think it's good because it's the best of my crappy landscape attempts, or is there some promise here?
 

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I think you did well. Was there a lot of noise reduction added? There is an overall softness to it that I like but perhaps it's a little too much.
 
Thanks, I did use noise reduction and perhaps I went a little over board. I underexposed the shot a bit so I could up the SP incase the bird took flight, which created more noise in the image than I wanted when I boosted the shadows and exposure. It was a very overcast morning creating a very flat pallet of colors that I remedied using 2 graduated filters. one at the top bringing in blue to enhance the fog, and one at the bottom to add orange as if reflecting the sunrise that was absent due to the cloud cover. I also reduced the sharpness in those filter areas to try and soften the water which was filled with goose feathers from a flock that had just left and that I found a bit distracting. Here is a before and after.
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I lied, Just looked at my data on this one, and realized I was in tight at 200mm, not 55 as I previously stated. This lens is considerably soft at that length and could be adding to the overall softness of the image.
 
This photo could be softened deliberately, and presented as a dreamy, sort of watercolor-like image. I think that would be the best way to present this photo; a shot like this made with something like a $5,000 to $8,000 Nikon exotic like the 200 f/2, or a 300/2.8 would be one type of image, but this photo really cannot be sharpened up to the level of the kind of images those lenses make--so, work with what you have, which is a peaceful lake scene with a great blue heron in the foreground. Maybe retouch some of the feathers and stuff that are on the water, and then take some artistic license with it, and make the image more painterly, more diffused, softer, more,well, watercolor-like or more painting-like.
 
Nice image. This shows that a "landscape lens" is not just a wide angle lens, but whatever lens gets you the shot you want.
 
What Ken said. Focal lengths vary in landscape. Don't ever think it has to be wide to be right. I like the shot! Nice colors and it has a serene feel to it.
 

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