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Sunny Lake

We’ve explored so much of the area around our home, but we didn’t know this park existed!

We discovered this beautiful local park a few weekends ago, and spent the evening shooting as the sun set. I took this shot as the first hints of color appeared in the clouds.

My goal was to show the beautiful light reflecting off the smooth surface of the lake. I used two filters for this shot – a Graduated Neutral Density (GND or ND Grad) filter and a Neutral Density (ND) filter. The ND filter reduced the amount of light coming through the lens so that I could chose a long shutter speed (3.2 seconds) to soften the small ripples on the surface of the lake. I love this simple technique because it creates a smooth, pearlescent glow on the water. The long shutter speed also let me capture some motion in the foreground as the plants around the lake shifted in the breeze. I like the effect, and it adds to the peaceful feel of the image.

I used the GND filter to reduce the brightness of the sky even further so that I could take one shot and capture the entire dynamic range in-camera.

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