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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16 Responses to “One Scene, Two Techniques”

  1. 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. Joe Hudspeth says:

    Both exquisite images Anne. Question for you, have you ever used Photomatix Pro with just one image (instead of three) to bring out your details?
    Joe Hudspeth recently posted..Paulina FallsMy Profile

  3. 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.

  4. LensScaper 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

  5. Jimi Jones says:

    Anne, I really love both of these but that 2nd shot with the long exposure is totally awesome. What a wonderful scene.
    Jimi Jones recently posted..Over the TopMy Profile

  6. Edith Levy says:

    I love both images Anne so please don’t ask me to pick a favorite…LOL. Excellent work.
    Edith Levy recently posted..Finding Focus – Understanding the Camera’s Eye – New eBookMy Profile

  7. Hi

    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

  8. Isn’t it amazing the two totally different emotions that these images evoke. Great work here, Anne, I really enjoyed this post a lot! And congrats on your feature on the Colortrails blog!
    Toad Hollow Photography recently posted..A Night At Cowichan RiverMy Profile

  9. Simply amazing! I love it. I am really impressed.
    Cipri @Travelocafe recently posted..Oslo’s Quirky Statues. Vigeland Park and BeyondMy Profile

  10. Steve says:

    Best excellent, but for me I prefer the symmetries of the first image
    Steve recently posted..The leg-rowing fishermen of Inle Lake – MyanmarMy Profile

  11. Both images are outstanding, but I prefer the second one over the first. The colors in the sky and its reflection, as well as the more prominent focus on the stump make it really stand out.
    Steven Perlmutter recently posted..Jetty SimplicityMy Profile

  12. Outstanding images, Anne. I really like the second one. Well done!
    Fred O’Donnell recently posted..Flowers in the WindowMy Profile

  13. Stephen says:

    The second one wins for me.
    Stephen recently posted..Reminder of Changes for 2012My Profile

  14. Pedro says:

    Such delicate use of HDR in the first pic, just love it. How dark was it? Like, how early in the morning?

    • 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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