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Thread: Paddle to the Sky

  1. #1

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    Brad

    Paddle to the Sky

    Some of you have seen this image before; I'm reposting it for two reasons: 1) evidence that even a glorified point and shoot camera (this was a Canon G9, with the same tiny sensor as a P&S but full manual controls) can take photos with decent image quality, and 2) a reminder that it's always good to shoot in RAW when you can. I shot this as a JPEG and fortunately the camera's JPEG engine did a nice job of rendering the image (I've done absolutely nothing with it, this is exactly as it came from the camera). In retrospect I wish I'd shot it in RAW as it's a nice photo and would have been even nicer.

    Paddle to the Sky

    I printed this out as an 8x10 and gave it to our friends who own the canoe (we stayed at their cabin one night and I took this photo early the next morning before anyone else was up).

  2. #2

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    Gretchen

    Re: Paddle to the Sky

    This is just beautiful!

  3. #3

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    Re: Paddle to the Sky

    Thanks, Gretchen. It was a magical moment when I went down to the water and saw the clouds reflected like this; I didn't even have my camera with me but as soon as I saw the canoe and dock against the backdrop of the reflected sky I ran back to the cabin to get my camera and ran back down to catch it before things changed. I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time! I took four or five other photos but this one has the best angle (I should have taken a few more, this angle isn't perfect but it's better than the others)

  4. #4

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    Re: Paddle to the Sky

    It is perfect, IMHO. I am amazed the water remained so still. There is not a break or a ripple.

    It could be a painting from a fairy story. Except fairies don't like water--right?

    It must have been a magical moment for you when you recognized the shot.

  5. #5

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    Re: Paddle to the Sky

    There are just a few ripples off to the right of the dock (probably from fish), but otherwise the water was like glass. The light changed just as I came down to the dock and really made this photo. I have a photo taken just a few seconds before as I was walking back down to the pond and it was much darker; the sun started to come out from behind the clouds and everything became luminescent.

    This was taken at a large pond/small lake near Craftsbury Common, Vermont. We fell asleep the night before listening to loons calling on the water.

  6. #6

    Re: Paddle to the Sky

    That is a masterful image Brad! I really wish I had that kind of an eye behind the camera. Might I suggest a slight clean up in post?

    Paddle to the Sky

    Cleaned up the grass in the steps and tossed the rail on the right. Also dropped in a levels to clean/brighten up the clouds a bit.

    Ryo

  7. #7

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    Gretchen

    Re: Paddle to the Sky

    The ripples to the right don't even show-up unless you really look. I think because the clouds are not broken by ripples, my eye seems to ignore them.

    Ryo, I like what you did, but I'd leave the grass in the slats of the dock. I don't know, I think it adds to the "magical" quality of the photo.

    ggt

  8. #8

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    Re: Paddle to the Sky

    Thanks Ryo, I like these subtle improvements. Although like Gretchen I would leave the vegetation in the slats -- in part because I'm a realist photographer but also because I think it adds something to the balance of the composition (and there's that "magic" element that Gretchen mentions). There's a three-dimensional quality to this photo that I can't explain, but it's there...like I said I was just lucky to be there to capture it.

    The title, by the way, is a take-off on a classic children's book that we had in the house growing up (and which I still have to this day): Paddle-to-the-Sea, written and illustrated by Holling Clancy Holling. It's a beautiful book about a Cree boy from Lake Nipigon, north of Lake Superior, who carves a little canoe with a paddler in it and sets it on a snowbank in spring. He carves a note in the bottom of the canoe saying "Please Put Me Back in Water, I am Paddle-to-the-Sea. The book traces the canoe's travels all the way down through the Great Lakes, down the St-Lawrence River, and out to the ocean, and all of its adventures and the people who helped it along its way.

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