Delta Lake State Park
A couple days ago this image popped up as a memory in my FB stream. It brought back quite a few memories. This was captured a little over a year after I started learning about photography. Earlier in 2012 I had purchased my first non point and shoot camera, the Nikon D5100 with the Sigma 17-70mm lens. I was experimenting with everything (I guess I still do as I have never focused on my style of photography).
I remember setting up the tripod at the edge of the water and squatting behind the camera throwing stones past it trying to capture the “perfect” skip. This image is actually the very first attempt. All the remaining tries didn’t create the look and feel of a stone skip. At some point I realized I was tempting fate by hurling stones past my camera and it was only a matter of time before I ended up hitting it. I moved on…
This image has generated a lot of interest. I like it but I never thought other people would find it worthy. One person contacted me to see if they could use it as the cover of a short novel they were writing. Another asked if it could be used for a in a blog post they were writing. I had a researching ask if it could be used in paper being written. But my most surprising was when I was contacted by a firm in Canada who wanted to use it in training material. That one took months to sort out as I had to learn about contracts and image rights. In the end I was able to reach an agreement with the firm. Probably more surprising than how much interest this image generated is that it didn’t happen immediately after I posted it online. All these inquiries have happened over the past six or seven years!
So, after the memory on FB brought this image back to me, I decided it was time to re-process. I’ve learned quite a lot in the past eight years (well, I hope I have) and I wanted to give this one a fresh coat of paint. I can see in my older images I hadn’t worked out the balance of highlights and shadows. I didn’t understand light, its quality or tone. The original image feels flat to me and it definitely has a few issues with white balance.
I created a fresh copy in Lightroom and set about processing this one as I would today. I changed the crop from 4×5 to 5×7. I wanted to give the ripples a little more breathing room in the scene. I definitely adjusted the white balance. I was able to de-haze the image and improve details of the subject. Once I was happy with the adjustments in Lightroom I brought the image into Luminar and applied my normal sunset processing, taking care to not overpower the image with an orange cast (which is obvious in the original). I think the new version is an improvement… how about you?