Tuesday, May 13, 2014

MINNESOTA VALLEY NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE

Last weekend we were up in Minnesota, and I decided to get up early Saturday morning to visit a nearby wildlife refuge with my camera, the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, which is just east of the Mall of America.  It was a calm morning and there was a good deal of fog hanging above any open water.  I missed a number of opportunities on my way to the wildlife refuge, about 10 miles from where we were staying.  Later I regretted that, as by the time I was returning much of the fog had dissipated.

I did get a few landscape shots in the early morning sun.  I'm still learning my way around panoramic landscape opportunities, and it shows, I'm afraid.  I took about 40 shots that morning but kept only four.  That wouldn't be all bad if they were really good, but that's not the case.

Here is one of the early shots that I took.


I've learned that it often helps to incorporate something of interest in the foreground.  That would the tree in the above shot.  Doesn't work well here.  The only saving grace in this shot is the Minneapolis skyline in the background.

I tried again in the following shot, featuring the tree on the left.


Actually a little better, I thought.  I cropped all of these shots horizontally because I felt that would emphasize the panoramic quality of the scenes.  Besides, the sky didn't really have anything to offer.

In the following shot I thought I wanted to take advantage of a layering feature--a more saturated foreground and a foggier background.


In retrospect, it might have been better to have incorporated the sky, if only to establish some sort of context.

That is what I attempted to do in the following shot.


I thought this was the best of the bunch.  But I really should have included more of the sky in the image.  The little sliver of sky just doesn't make it, but that's all I had when I got to post processing.

In the last three shots, although I increased the contrast a bit in post processing, the early morning sun was providing the nicely saturated colors.

John

2 comments:

  1. Great pictures. They look like they were taken in early morning. Love the last one the best. When you mention it, more sky could show, but not until I read what you said it would I have noticed.

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    1. Thanks, Wanda. Yup, they were taken early morning, and I agree that the last shot is the best, even though I messed up a bit by not including more of the sky. I think I took about 50 shots that morning and have one that's maybe worth keeping. Hmmm . . . .

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