Bonsai Rock, Rough Water, Sunset, HDR

Near Sand Harbor, East Shore Lake Tahoe, NV

Well, this is the reason I drove over 2 hours one-way this past Sunday — Bonsai Rock.  While the photographic results were not exactly as I hoped, there were things learned.

Timing.  Though one afternoon doesn’t establish a trend, I’m tempted to see how the wind and light are in the morning versus the afternoon.  The afternoon provides a backlit scene that is a bit difficult to handle if the sunset light isn’t reflected off clouds or, in absence of clouds, one isn’t equipped with a GND filter.

I’m still not certain about the morning light.  This location is down the side of the hill from the road, which is has the rest of the mountain above it.  Will there be enough light in the morning?  Will the first light hit the distant mountains across the lake and require a GND filter?  I guess we’ll have to find out next time!

This particular photograph is a 3-shot bracketed HDR at [-2,0,+2] and blended through Nik HDR Pro instead of the usual Photomatix Pro software.  I’m testing out HDR Pro and so far enjoy the additional preset and greater amount of slider controls I’ve begun getting used to in Silver EFex Pro.

More posts from the day trip to Lake Tahoe:

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center weighted metering mode, 55mm, ISO 100, [1/2, 1/8, 1/30 sec], f/22

Bonsai Rock, Rough Water, Sunset, HDR.  Near Sand Harbor, Lake Tahoe, NV.  February 19, 2012. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.


4 thoughts on “Bonsai Rock, Rough Water, Sunset, HDR

  1. I go back and forth between HDR Efex Pro and Photomatix too. They give you such different results. I can always tell when someone uses Photomatix because the lighting looks a little patchy and people usually oversaturate. HDREP tends to have more detail and sometimes can look crunchy.

    Something seems slightly off to me with this shot. Maybe darken the water in the foreground to make it look a little more natural.


  2. Yep, the ghosting in the water due to the waves definitely is an issue here. There seem to be excessive highlighting in the white water and perhaps a more reflection than seem natural. I’ll have to mess around with it a little more.

    I had contemplated using a 10-stop filter and bracketing 3 exposures, but I thought there would be even more movement on the “bonsai” trees than was already occurring. And it probably would have introduced one more variable that necessary, but it would have smoothed out the waves.


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