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Reflections of Dawn

Posted by
Don Smith (California, United States) on 9 May 2010 in Landscape & Rural.


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Reflection images are always fun - assuming one has something interesting to photograph in the reflection. While sorting through my archive one morning, I came across this image that I captured during the winter of 2004. I vaguely remember that it had been raining the day before and I knew the storm would be passing through in the wee hours, which meant an opportunity for partly cloudy skies and a colorful dawn/sunrise.

I really didn't know where I was going, but I drove east from my house in the darkness towards the Diablo Mountain range in hopes of finding something to work with. After 20 minutes of driving, I came across this collection pond that afforded me a position looking towards the eastern horizon.

In the cold pre-dawn darkness, I can remember setting up my tripod and awaiting the much anticipated dawn light. As you can see, I was not disappointed. The skies began to come alive with color and the reflection was evident in the less-than-still water. I used a Singh-Ray 2-stop soft-edge graduated neutral density filter and a neutral polarizer to balance the scene and enhance the color of the sky. I opted to allow the landscape itself to go to silhouette to add a sense of drama.

2004 was the first year I started seriously capturing landscape images digitally. The Canon 1Ds was a major breakthrough in not only technology, but also resolution. If I recall correctly, this camera had a then-astonishing 11MP sensor (and a price tag of $8,000)! Prior to purchasing this camera, I had used a Canon D30, but the low resolution made it impractical for serious landscape work.

Canon EOS-1DS 1/200 second F/2.8 ISO 100 28 mm

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