2005-09-11 - Moke Lake

As I've said before, New Zealand is an amazing place for photography, especially landscapes. I still have a lot to learn about landscape photography but it is becoming more and more apparent to me that filters are essential in a lot of situations where the light is just too awkward. This photo was taken mid-morning but the winter sun was still quite low and throwing some hard light. I wanted to capture the reflection in the lake as well as the detail in the mountain and sky but there was just too much dynamic range for a single shot.

Since I didn't have any filters or my tripod (to do bracketed shots), my only other practical option was to take the shot as best I could (preserve highlights) and then add a little digital darkroom magic. The magic I speak of is the power of the RAW file and the ability to process it for multiple different exposures. This technique has its limitations but I was able to get a reasonably well exposed foreground and sky from the one file, which I then blended together. It was quite a quick process and I'm happy with the result but I think it looks a little strange still. Next time I think I'll have to try some optical filters...

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Jeroen Mulder Wow. That is breathtaking. I think the combination of it being a bit strange with the very deserted, yet quite peaceful looking location, makes it very, very awesome.

I really went 'wow' out loud and so did my collegues around here. I think it's possible one of the best shots you've ever made. Stunning. :-)