One Scene, Two Techniques

At Buttle Lake in Strathcona Park on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, I used two photography techniques to make two very different images from the same scene.

The first image was made before sunrise when it was still fairly dark and there was not much colour in the sky. The stump is the main subject but I also liked the submerged rocks in the foreground. I used my 10-20mm wide angle lens so I could capture the foreground rocks as well as the mountains in the background and on either side. I made 3 exposures and combined them in post-processing into one high dynamic range image.

Buttle Lake, Strathcona Park, Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Please click the images to view larger versions.

A little later colour started coming into the sky and I was drawn to the cloud reflections in the lake. I switched to my 24-105L lens and put on my 4 stop neutral density filter which blocked out some of the light allowing me to use a longer exposure to smooth out the water.

Buttle Lake, Strathcona Park, Vancouver Island, British Columbia

Two techniques, same time, same setting, two very different results.

There is an in-depth interview with me on the Colortrails blog today. It’s all about my career switch into travel photography and my past year of travels so check it out!
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  1. says

    Two beautiful images, Anne! The pink clouds and smooth reflections in #2 make for a very peaceful shot. The bold comp in #1 with all those symmetries leading to the stump in almost the center, together with the moody light, make that one feel much more intense. I like them both a lot!
    Jackson Frishman recently posted..Rock Lake ReflectionsMy Profile

  2. says

    Both are great images Anne. Thanks for the link to your interview – I’ve been playing catch-up on going back through your blog, but the interview gives a really good insight into your trip, plus the highs and lows. Thanks for sharing.

  3. says

    Oh Boy! Those are exceptional. The tonal control in the first one is superb, especially in the foreground. Two things really make the second image. The compelling mirror image of the wooden stump and that line of bright light at the end of the lake. Magic! Superb work, worth the early start Anne.
    LensScaper recently posted..A gap in the cloudsMy Profile

  4. says


    Great work – like that you used HDR to capture and combine and didn’t go crazy tonemapping. I personally like the second shot better. The colors and stump really play well with that one.

    regards, Erik

    • says

      Hi Pedro, thank you so much. It was around 5:30 in the morning. Summer in British Columbia, the sun gets up early. It was just before sunrise so the sky was getting bright but the mountains were still in shadow.

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