Creating the Surreal in the Real World

Sunset and Friends

                During the evening at Christmas Cove, outside of Northport, MI, the water was truly unusually calm. The water seemed to stand still, creating a surface that resembled a perfect pane of glass. If this already was not strange enough, a single rock off in the surf put on a balancing act for all to see. It was a scene that one might envision while imagining the landscape of another planet. I wanted to create a photograph that really emphasized the endless possibilities of creativity, technical knowledge and composition in the real world. I chose to keep the balancing rock central in the frame to create a strong focus point. The smooth water made for the possibility to render the water completely smooth with the use of a six stop ND filter to slow the shutter speed significantly. I then stacked a three stop reverse graduated neutral density filter (GND) with a two stop soft edge normal GND filter to balance the sky while exposing the rocks in the foreground properly. By using this much density for the sky, I was able to create a bright golden pink glow in the water. By having this large difference in tonal range between water and sky, I was able to create a strong sense on tension on the perfectly flat horizon. I hope you enjoy is otherworldly take on the natural world. As always comments are very helpful and much appreciated!  

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