Reservoir Sunrise

I finally make it to the weekend and the forecast is for rain. I’m sure I’ll still enjoy the time off from work but I was looking forward to a few events this weekend. The Trenton Falls trails are open again this weekend (as well as next) and there is the Trenton Falls Art Festival. Hopefully Sunday will not be a total washout and I can get some exploring in along the trail and at the art festival.

When I awoke the moon was still shining brightly through the windows so I knew the clouds would have to be rolling in if we are going to get the rain predicted. I packed up the camera and headed to Hinkley Reservoir to capture the sunrise. It was a good plan. The clouds hadn’t completely obscured the sky and the pre-dawn light was incredible.

Pointing the camera into the morning light was going to cause the foreground to almost completely black out. This was the perfect scene for some bracketed images. I properly exposed for the sky and water and tried a few images to ensure I was balancing the histogram. Switched the camera into exposure bracketing, selected +/-2 and let the camera do its thing. This gave me three images, one underexposed by 2 stops, one exposed for the sky and one overexposed by 2 stops. This would give me enough detail in both the highlights and shadows to work with.

I used the ‘Merge to 32-bit HDR’ option in the Photomatix plugin for Lightroom to blend all three exposures together, producing an image with a wider dynamic range. A few adjustments to brighten up the shadows and lighten the highlights produced the image below. The clouds were moving fairly quickly but I let the merge process use all the information which smeared the clouds slightly but I like the results.

Although I am only 20 minutes away from the reservoir this was my first trip up and after the beautiful morning I will be making a more trips in the future. There is quite a few locations along the shore to explore…

Reservoir Sunrise Nikon D5100, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4, (0.5, 2, 8s bracket), 17mm, f/16, ISO 100

Reservoir Sunrise
Nikon D5100, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4, (0.5, 2, 8s bracket), 17mm, f/16, ISO 100

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