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Reflection Pond and Frozen Aspens

Posted by
Don Smith (California, United States) on 11 June 2010 in Landscape & Rural.


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Hard to believe we are nearing summer solstice (June 21) yet I captured this mid-winter looking scene just two weeks ago. This little pond resides near Highway 28 along the eastern side of Lake Tahoe, Nevada, but has no name and does not even show on any topographical maps.

I had spotted this pond a week before while driving the lake loop, but stopped again after a late-spring snow storm took a brief respite after the sun had set. Thanks to the low-light ability of digital sensors to render a scene with few flaws (unlike film where one had to deal with reciprocity failure) I was able to make a low-contrast capture of this idyllic setting using an eight-second timed-exposure.

Back at the computer, I simply applied a Curves adjustment layer and "tweaked" my highlight and shadow points until I got the contrast looking the way I wanted. One of the many benefits of using Curves is in the resulting overall saturation. Once setting the highlight and shadow points, a small S-Curve along the diagonal curves line generally results in a sharper and more saturated looking frame.

I loved the cool look of this winter scene, but felt the creek dogwood in front of the frozen aspens needed a bit of a bump to faithfully bring out their warmish tones. This was accomplished easily using Nik Viveza 2.0. I simply placed a Control Point on one of the bushes and adjusted the warmth slider - simple!

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My favorites on AM3 - WINTER by Maria