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Thread: Standing in the marsh at 5:00am

  1. #1
    FlyingSquirrel's Avatar
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    Standing in the marsh at 5:00am

    I got up at 4:30am on Saturday so I could arrive at the marsh at 5. I'm becoming a morning person Anyway, since I'd gotten up early a couple weeks ago for some macro shots at this same location, I noticed the excellent blanket of fog over the wetland and thought it would make a nice photo.

    I really had no plan other than to arrive super early and run around like a madman trying to find some kind of composition. This was actually the 2nd composition that I made, and happened to be the first spot I walked up to just a couple minutes after I arrived. Most other compositions from the morning were utter failures and went into the trash bin, but I think this one works pretty well (for me personally, anyway).

    The problem was, everything at this park is so plain, there is just boardwalk and grass. So there is nothing to put up close to the lens to draw the viewer in, and nothing close enough to be a point of interest as the main subject. It was quite frustrating, especially as the sun came up and the fog started to burn off. It was beautiful in person, but I couldn't make a photo out of it with a wide angle lens. I did literally run around like a madman with all of my gear (maybe 40+ lbs) jogging this way and that in an attempt to find some compositions before the sun came up, up and down the boardwalk, trudging through 6 foot tall grass and boggy spots. A number of times I became so exhausted that I could not continue, and had to rest for a minute to catch my breath and regain my strength. Quite physically demanding, considering I don't ever run, and only occasionally go for a walk, and then there's the whole 4 hours of sleep and no breakfast aspect. Well I learned a lot on this trip, so that's good. I do need to plan ahead next time by scouting for compositions during the day, then returning at the proper time for the final shot. More importantly, I need to find a better location for landscapes than an open marsh

    Full size view recommended. Please note, the photo is somewhat dark, and the background lacks a bit of contrast, but this was on purpose. Since it was dark and foggy at 5am, I processed the image to look about how it seemed to me in person. It may be hard to tell, but the white spots are dew drops on the grass blades. C&C appreciated.

    Standing in the marsh at 5:00am

  2. #2

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    Re: Standing in the marsh at 5:00am

    What a lovely shot to come home - I would say that all the effort and exertion that went into it was well worth it! I hope that you treated yourself to a good breakfast on the way home

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    Re: Standing in the marsh at 5:00am

    Matt a very good image, really like the water droplets on the grass, I was think about cropping it a little off the bottom, up to that first water droplet on the left side about 1/3rd of the way in. I find sometimes when shooting sunrises that at times the real action is happening behind me not in front of me as I think, so I now always check behind me as I shoot.

    Cheers:

    Allan

  4. #4
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Standing in the marsh at 5:00am

    beautiful image...

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    Re: Standing in the marsh at 5:00am

    Well worth the effort of getting up and out at that time of the day. For my own tastes I too would trim a bit of the up close foreground which demands more attention from the viewer.

  6. #6

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    Re: Standing in the marsh at 5:00am

    IMO you did a good job of capturing the moment. This is a very peaceful, moody photo that feels like dawn over wetlands. I agree with prior comment that the water drops on the grass add a lot to the image. However IMO the shorter crop would center the horizon too much.

    This image reminds me of sitting in a duck blind. Except the grass is green

  7. #7

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    Re: Standing in the marsh at 5:00am

    Hi Matt,

    That is pretty much the spirit of photography. Getting there at the right moment.

    Great shot with beautiful colours leading the eye from a foreground to middle ground to background.

    Your effort surely paid off.

    Well done, I like it very much.

  8. #8

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    Re: Standing in the marsh at 5:00am

    I really like this. Great layers! I like the composition exactly as is but could live with cropping to eliminate no more than one-third of the foreground grass if you insisted.

  9. #9
    IShootPeople's Avatar
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    Re: Standing in the marsh at 5:00am

    Beautiful shot! I think this is a wonderful image, it captures the serenity so well.

  10. #10
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    Re: Standing in the marsh at 5:00am

    Nicely done. I'm fine with it the way it is or with a little crop at the bottom but I wouldn't want to go as far as Allan suggested because I like the extra layer of the larger leaves and wouldn't want to lose so much. So many opinions....

  11. #11

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    Re: Standing in the marsh at 5:00am

    I like your shot as is. And you are right so much better when clicked on to enlarge. Very nice indeed.

  12. #12
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    Re: Standing in the marsh at 5:00am

    Beautiful, Matt. This should be printed - BIG

  13. #13
    FlyingSquirrel's Avatar
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    Re: Standing in the marsh at 5:00am

    Shane, thanks! I actually stayed until 10:30am shooting macro. My breakfast was whatever fruit and snacks I brought along for the trip

    Allan, thanks for the advice about looking behind as well during sunrises; it's a good thing to remember. I did work every possible location and angle at this park...there was some nice sun hitting the hillside and trees behind me at one point, but again, too far off to frame anything in the super wide lens.

    Thanks to everyone as far as suggestions for cropping the image. I tried a number of different options prior to posting, and also went back a few minutes ago to see what I thought again. Still like this one the best. The larger foreground grass, for me, is very important to the photo. I am ok with it demanding a lot of attention, because it adds textural contrast and also draws you inward from the front to the back. I find the shorter crop to be too flat and boring, and also doesn't convey the feeling of being there as much. Just my feeling, which is why I went with the taller crop. Thanks again!

    Phil, thanks for the comment. Believe it or not, the last time I printed one of my photos was about 15 years ago. I was a teenager with a crappy ink jet printer, no color calibration, and not very good photos either, lol. As I have been developing my knowledge and skills more and more lately, I have considered printing some photos. I'd probably need to have them printed via an online service since I don't have a photo printer. The idea of making prints is actually slightly intimidating; there seems to be so much to know and do to get it to come out good. I wonder how big I could print this photo. It's from a 7D.

  14. #14

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    Re: Standing in the marsh at 5:00am

    Very interesting composition matt, and beautiful light. This is a really nice image, I like it alot.

  15. #15

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    Re: Standing in the marsh at 5:00am

    Nicely seen and I like your processing.

    karm

  16. #16

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    Re: Standing in the marsh at 5:00am

    I read all the accompanying text prior to looking at the shot and thought to myself.....ahhhh, I can relate. Then I looked at the image; to my eye absolutely stunning! Beautiful work.

    Andrew

  17. #17
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Standing in the marsh at 5:00am

    Oh, I can relate so well to what Matt has written by way of introduction to the image in Post #1. That search for the 'right' composition as the light is changing too fast and the fog/mist/cloud is disappearing before your eyes.

    No matter how much preparatory work you do (and I think I do quite a lot) in terms of identifying the shot, when you get their for the actual shoot and the conditions are 'just right', you invariably see a shot that you hadn't seen before. And then the dilemma starts. How much time do you spend on the one you thought you'd seen the day/week/month before and how much time on making this 'new' one work.

    But, by whatever means you got there with this one, Matt, it worked. It's a gorgeous image. And,as Phil wrote; "Beautiful, Matt. This should be printed - BIG." The light on the grass is superb and to me is what lifts this image out of being 'ordinary'. And it is why, if mine, I would not want to consider cropping any of it.

    Ps - And I'm with Matt about being up so early and out there. It's by far the best time of the day. But part of that is being alone with everything so peaceful. So don't everyone do it!

  18. #18
    FlyingSquirrel's Avatar
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    Re: Standing in the marsh at 5:00am

    Thank you, everyone, for your nice comments. I am very happy that everyone has enjoyed the image so much, and I appreciate the feedback and thoughts.

    Donald, yes, the peace and quiet, for me, is also one of the most attractive aspects of being up before sunrise (aside from the excellent photographic opportunities). Now, to continue training myself to go to bed early so I can get up early without feeling like I've been hit by a bus....

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