Lake McDonald

Lake McDonald

Lake-McDonaldThis image can be found in my Landscape Collection.

For this shot of Lake McDonald and the Mountains around the Lake I used several techniques to get the look I liked. The first thing I needed was a long exposure and while this was taken at almost 10pm I still needed a longer exposure so I attached my 6-stop Lee ND filter. The filter with the current settings of the camera allowed me to get an exposure a little over 100 seconds. I need this longer exposure to smooth the water. While this was before the wind picked up there was still a ripple in the water and the longer exposure smoothed out the ripples giving a nice smooth reflection. I also wanted as little noise as possible so I used an ISO of 64 which on my Nikon 810 allows for an extremely clear image. To balance the low ISO and long exposure I used an f-stop of 16 with is just high enough to keep everything in focus. As for post production I had a few tweaks to get the look correct. I shoot in RAW so I didn’t bother setting it in camera. I left the color profile in Adobe Standard rather that Camera Landscape. I did this to keep the contrast down and the image a little flatten. This allows me to make smaller adjustments. The auto WB chosen by the camera was way too cool so in Lightroom I set the WB to shade to warm it up and then boosted it a little more. I also dropped the exposure a little to darken the overall image and also dropped the highlights a little to bring out more detail in the brighter cloud. Next I opened up the shadows to give just a slight amount of detail in the darker areas. I also bumped the clarity slider a couple of notches to give the overall image a little boost in sharpness but a little bit goes a long way and add noise so a couple of bumps were enough. I also bumped the vibrancy slider up 2 notches but left the saturation alone. I didn’t do any sharpening because I was going for a fairly warm soft look. That was it. Hope you like it.

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