Snowy Sunrise (Hardcore Critique Appreciated)

Trenton Romulox

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Mar 10, 2007
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Hey everyone, I had my dad wake me up for the sunrise this morning, even though I hit the hay at four last night, to try and get some sunrise shots. Anyways, what do you think of the shot? I'm not a landscape guy (help me NewEnglandMoments) and I'm trying to get into it a little bit more, trying to break free of my macro mold. So yeah, this shot is game for the hardest and meanest critique all of you can muster, I just want to get my act together. Thanks. For technical information, see below.
Snowy Sunrise One:

Technical Information:
Nikon D80 with Nikon Nikkor 180mm f/2.8 short telephoto @
Focal Length: 180mm (of course)
Aperture: f/8
Shutter Speed: 1/125
wow. That is really good. The lens is a little long, I'd say..but it works anyway. The distortion of the sun really adds to the picture.
wow. That is really good. The lens is a little long, I'd say..but it works anyway. The distortion of the sun really adds to the picture.

Thanks for the quick response, and yeah, the lens is a little long HAHA. I was wondering about the distortion, I had to crop the shot from the right to eliminate some lens flare that I got. What's a good way to not get lens flare?
I would love to see this shot with a Grad ND4 Filter, I think you would pick up a nice glow on the trees and snow without overexposing the sky.
Hi Trenton!!

Ok, first , I got to say one thing, and sure many will disagree... but my rule, is you can't shoot into the sun and win !

Its like the old cowboy gunfights in the dusty street.. One Cowboy Always tries to have his back to the sun.. lol.. Makes it a little harder for him to get shot, with other gunfighter, SHOOTING INTO THE SUN... Hence, Shooting into the sun, your going to loose!

Anyway you did Really really well on this exposure, to show detail in the trees , keeping the snow in color, and beautiful orange color areas in the snow..

Its just me on these type shots into the sun, I just don't shoot them often.. When I look at shots like these, my eyes always find Blown areas and that just kills the shot for me..
You have almost always got to leave that big ball out of the pic, ( off to one side or the other ) or your going to loose..

Filters will help, but even then, shooting directly at that ball... it will show Blown Highlights somewhere..

heres a crop of this , sharpened some , and dodged lightly in tree areas.. I did also lightly clone, just below Sun itself.. just enough to get that tallest tree into the frame on right...

wish I could help more , but as said, I don't do sunrise or sunset that often, and the reason being, Blown Highlights..
Got to keep the Ball out of the pic...

I love snowy vistas like this! The light is perfect, i love that little splash of colour on the snow in the foreground. I know its hard to balance between exposing the sky and exposing the trees/snow but i do think the foreground could be brightened up a lil either in PS or using an ND grad filter.
On top of a grad-ND filter, I'd highly recommend waiting a little while longer to take the shot. You just need more light. You're gonna get reciprocity failure on the intermediate foreground (as you have here w/ its underexposure) if you don't.
It's definitely a location I could get back to easily enough, so you guys think it'd be worth getting a filter at the local photo store and heading back to the spot?

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