<<< o >>>winter lake #1 23 comments + add yours

One of the things I miss from my childhood is the winter, and while they were never especially harsh in the UK, we did used to have snow, sub-zero temperatures, and something that could be recognised as a distinct season in its own right. These days though half an inch of snow seems like an exciting event, and if it's still on the ground half an hour later it's akin to a meteorological miracle.

In Bulgaria, on the other hand, winter is a definite season – it's gradually getting colder and colder this week – and the few inches of snow we had a couple of days ago are still on the ground, with a lot more forecast for later this week. Unfortunately I didn't have time to get out and about today while the sun was shining, but did get four shots yesterday, all of which were shot at a lake a few kilometres from our house. I'll post the next three later this week.

In terms of the post-processing: I haven't done anything especially complex with any of them – other than attempting to give a broad impression of cold, winter, and so on – but I did extend the canvas for this one, i.e. it's not a 3x2 image cropped to be square, rather it was extended upwards (a technique I described in my Portraits: part two tutorial). If you're not sure what I'm talking about, just take a look at the original:


As always, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

On a different matter: we are currently offering a 15% discount on our Photoshop tutorials (up until January 1st of next year). Further info here:


Update: following a couple of comments, that rightly pointed out that the pylons weren't quite straight, I've reworked this one to correct the slightly odd angle.

focal length
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter
12.01pm on 13/12/09
Canon 5D Mark II
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
aperture priority
minor (then extended to 1x1)
1x1 + travel [Bulgaria]
comment by Cesar at 04:01 PM (GMT) on 14 December, 2009

I really like the trees reflection :)

comment by Eugene at 04:06 PM (GMT) on 14 December, 2009

Wow, this is an amazing shot! I love the reflections here.

comment by Ilan (@ilanbr) at 04:07 PM (GMT) on 14 December, 2009

I usually don't comment in one word but this time....


(11 words) :)

comment by Matt Thomas at 04:13 PM (GMT) on 14 December, 2009

Love the offwhite, and composition is, as per, damn fine David. :)

comment by Tracy at 05:00 PM (GMT) on 14 December, 2009

Beautiful! It draws me right in.

comment by Chris at 05:05 PM (GMT) on 14 December, 2009

A black and white winter image, I like it. I also like the idea of extended the canvas to include more sky. I do have mixed feelings about the amount of sky that was added. Like you say often, a preference issue. Overall, I really enjoy looking at this image. Definitely looks cold in Bulgaria. I image your children are going have fun this season with all the snow coming.

comment by njr at 05:13 PM (GMT) on 14 December, 2009

Gosh. I quite like this, but I have a very strong sense that it needs to be rotated very slightly anticlockwise --- about 1 degree. To me it looks as if you've rotated it clockwise to make the shoreline horizontal on the picture.

It's probably just my imagination, though.

comment by @id7 at 05:29 PM (GMT) on 14 December, 2009

Beautiful..... the mirror line is mesmerizing.

comment by Joaquin at 05:54 PM (GMT) on 14 December, 2009

Really interesting edition.

comment by Stephen at 06:38 PM (GMT) on 14 December, 2009

Top notch

Enough said :-)

comment by Roberta at 06:38 PM (GMT) on 14 December, 2009

This is one of the best shots I've seen here. Although all your work is good, this one is just extraordinary to me.

comment by jesse at 06:50 PM (GMT) on 14 December, 2009

beautiful interpretation! nicely done!

comment by Roy at 07:44 PM (GMT) on 14 December, 2009

I'm with njr on this as regards that peculiar 'not-quite-straight' feeling, glad it's not just me!. I know that the water boundary is dead straight, and that should be fine, but I have encountered this weird illusion before. It must be to do with the slight lean on some of the trees and the pylon, coupled with the downward slope of the tree line - and to some extent that circular effect on the right (which would be great if it was a complete circle!)
Oh and my preference would be for less space at the top and maybe a bit more at the bottom. At the moment it looks like it's waiting for some text for the CD cover, but as you say...personal preference :)

comment by Carlos Garcia at 12:06 AM (GMT) on 15 December, 2009

Wonderful Dave. You are always twice an artist... your eye sees the possibility and your processing brings it to life. The tones are awesome. I love winter! But, mostly, I love the shore :)

comment by Dan Kaufman at 03:10 AM (GMT) on 15 December, 2009

Magnificent !!!
Love the crispness which accentuates the (brrrrrrrrrrrr) cold.
AND the off-axis framing imparted by the extended canvas proportions. I noticed this right off, before I read your comments. well done.

comment by Andy at 12:59 PM (GMT) on 15 December, 2009

NIcely done. The purity of the sky really works with this.

comment by alberto at 02:33 PM (GMT) on 15 December, 2009

oh David, you have copied my idea!! ;-) look at this: http://www.fotosilenziose.com/index.php?showimage=251

comment by silfver at 07:06 PM (GMT) on 15 December, 2009

Powerlines... nooo! I don't like powerlines. :/ But hey. I can ignore them cause this shot is really beautiful. :) Looks like Sweden right now. A lot of snow! I wonder why every morning it glows blue.

comment by Frida at 09:25 PM (GMT) on 15 December, 2009

The trees are mirrored so beautifully in the calm water. We have had snow for 24 hours now so I will get out tomorrow with my camera :-)

comment by Adam Stevens at 07:09 AM (GMT) on 16 December, 2009

Nice to see a shot where the sky is blown in the winter, I think I waste way too much time worrying about it in my photography. I looked at the original, odd that the shore on the right looked more eye grabbingly "fish eyed" than your processed image. We just had our first dusting here (after two weeks below 32f (0' C for you metric folk) and now it's raining again. Blast.

comment by djn1 at 09:03 AM (GMT) on 16 December, 2009

Thanks everyone :)

Chris: in this case, as the sky was pretty much a uniform shade of grey, the addition was accurate with respect to the reality.

alberto: that's a nice shot too :)

silfver: I agree, the powerlines are a bit of an eyesore.

Frida: let me know how you get on.

Adam: toning a blown sky removes the problem, i.e. it looks intentional rather than accidental.

comment by DavidC at 06:07 PM (GMT) on 18 December, 2009

looks like an old inked press print, very cool effect!

comment by Krista at 04:28 PM (GMT) on 20 December, 2009

This is gorgeous!