Mangrove Morning

I love shooting sunsets.  I’m never quite satisfied with the images I make, so I keep trying.  Since every sunset is different, there is always a reason to keep trying to capture that perfect image.

Sunrise, though, is a different story. Why?  Because the sun gets up much earlier than I do!  Still, on my last day of vacation, I decided to stumble out of bed, grab some coffee and my tripod and head towards the southeastern side of the island.   I thought I could get a cool shot from the west side of a bridge, looking over the bay towards the mainland.   When I got to the bridge though, it was clear that I should have checked my coordinates and where the sun would be rising.   I knew that the island was not positioned towards true north, but I didn’t expect the sun to be off towards what I generally think of as west.

I headed further down the intercoastal road.  In about a mile, the road curved left and I realized that the sun was once again “back” where I thought it should be — quickly rising in the east over the estuary.   I had just enough time to set up before it poked its early bird bright yellow self over the mangroves.

Early Morning Mangrove

Early Morning Mangrove

Linking up again for Kim Klassen’s Texture Tuesday.  Today’s theme:   use at least one layer of Kim’s texture Minus43.   She named this texture for the temperature the day she created it.   Based on the name, it doesn’t seem right to use on a photograph taken a warm sunny day where the mercury “dipped” into the 80’s.  But, it was perfect for this image.

I started by combing two identical shots, taken at different shutter speeds, in Elements using the PSE feature for combining based on exposure.   After a little additional reworking (like removing a pesky, ugly hi-rise building on the other side of the water), I applied Minus 43 with a blending mode of Hard Light, Opacity 50%.   I copied this layer, again at 50% & removed it over the mangroves.  I didn’t think that looked quite right, so I changed the first layer to Multiply, 40% & combined both layers.  I copied it — again! — Multiply 15% and combined all layers.   I added a pink tint (Hard Light, 20%), then added Kim’s texture 1301 as an Overlay at 25%.   I removed most of both these layers, keeping only a portion over the sky, then merged.   I copied the merged layer (Mulitply, 25%) and removed most of it leaving a somewhat rectangular darkened area framing the photo.  Added my signature and Voilá!

I thought that this was an interesting image without the texturing, but I also had fun adding it, giving the image a softer look.  The sky reminds me of a watercolor done with a slightly dirty brush.   The texture also added a bit of green — which was good, but I lost some of the pink colors, so I added the pink tint.   The combined exposures also made the water a little too blue.  It looked like swimming pool water!  So, adding the textures and the pink helped to bring the water back to a more natural looking shade.  Although it took me a lot of playing around with various settings and masks, I like the end result.

7 responses to “Mangrove Morning

  1. Great sunset witih the foreground silhouetted. Yes, they are each unique, so that means we never get bored taking photos of sunsets!

  2. The sun sets and rises at different points during the year, should you come back in summer (and brave the heat and bugs) you will have to change your position as the sun really sets over the sea not the land and rises over Fort Myers Beach.
    Anyway lovely processing and I hope you enjoyed your break.

  3. This is very lovely… Love your subtle use of the texture, and use of white-space!

  4. Lovely! Beautiful composition and color (kudos for getting up at sunrise!)- nicely processed! I think the texture really complements the already beautiful photo!