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Aletered Perceptions

Posted by
Darkelf Photography (Perth, Australia) on 15 March 2022 in Landscape & Rural and Portfolio.


I found this amazing scene on a beautifully still and peaceful day at Wellington Reservoir in Western Australia. Reflections were just like a mirror and I loved the colour theme as well. We have never been to this location before that day and I did not know what to expect at all. Because it was the middle of the day, I further did not expect to be taking any landscape photos as I usually keep away from the bright daylight in my photography. However, when we arrived and I saw this scenery before my eyes, I knew that we had to spend some time there to explore a bit more.

We visited this spot in mid autumn of 2021 after our usual hot dry summer and you can see that the water levels were quite low. We were about fifty metres in from where the usual shoreline was. Low water revealed a lot of hidden treasures that would not be visible after the rainy season. This particular stretch of the shore had all these interesting tree trunks and logs scattered around which were just asking to be used in my composition. I had many options from more minimal views (like today's photo) to more complex and intricate compositions. I went with more open and uncluttered one because I water to include that still surface of the reservoir and reflections of the clouds. This is what made the scene for me even better - the clouds present on the day. They were just perfect.

This photo could almost be a candidate for the current bubble theme because of the foamy patches that you can see on the surface. I am not sure of the origin of these floaters. I thought about cloning them out but in the end decided that they added to the scene and kept them in my composition. I suspect that it will be up everyone's own taste whether they agree with me or not and there is no right or wrong answer here. I also though about doing a black and white version but I like the look and mood of the coloured image. I also loved the colour combination of deep blues and bright oranges, which worked in harmony in my view. I worked to alter these tones more to my vision in post processing and hence the title of the image. I wanted more subdued hues and I also wanted the overall feeling to be a little darker than the bright sight which greeted us. I found that the original bright oranges and highly saturated blues too contrasty and too aggressive so I toned them down and tweaked the hues until I was happy.

It was a scene which also benefited greatly from the use of the polarising filter. I was able to use it at ninety degrees to the sun, to maximise its effect, to deepen the blues and bring out the contrast in the sky and in the water. I have to admit that the polariser never really leaves my lens and I use it 99% of the time. I control the amount of the polarising effect in each situation but I find that it usually contributes to my photography in some way. I am also not prejudiced against uneven sky that it can sometimes create and often find the effect interesting. This is once again a personal preference only and I am only explaining the process and thinking behind my photos. If it helps anyone to make a decision one way or the other then hopefully my explanations are of some benefit :-)

We are already planning to re-visit this location later in autumn. This time I hope to spend more time around the reservoir and get there for a sunrise or sunset session. If we have good overcast conditions then a long exposure or two are also in the works. It will all depend on the conditions obviously and even what I find along the shores will probably look completely different to how we saw them a year ago. Either way, I am very much looking forward to it and hope to have a productive outing once we are there.

Canon EOS R5 1/50 second F/8.0 ISO 100 24 mm

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