Cold mornings

Nikon D800, 70mm, f/14, 6.0 sec., ISO 100, B+W 6-stop ND filter
Nikon D800, 70mm, f/14, 6.0 sec., ISO 100, B+W 6-stop ND filter

Did everyone enjoy the cold mornings over the weekend? While I wasn’t crazy enough to go out for a sunrise shoot this past weekend, I did shoot this during a sunrise one early morning last winter. I don’t remember what the exact temperature was, but it sure felt like it was -40C.

The morning colours were fantastic that shoot, as the sun rose silently but gloriously from the east. Using a B+W 6-stop ND filter, I was able to increase my exposure time to 6 seconds without blowing any of the highlight details out of my image.

This version of the photo was edited in Lightroom and with Topaz Lab’s Clarity app, which is something that I’m trying to test out these days. When you know what to do, Lightroom is quite a powerful editing tool—although it still won’t be replacing the things that Photoshop can do.

With the use of the gradient filters, I increased the saturation of the blue and orange bands on the horizon. If I really wanted to, I could have made the entire Toronto skyline a silhouette by painting in black throughout, but I wanted to keep a little detail in there to show some of the sunlight reflecting off the side of the buildings.

For the bottom part of the photo, I wanted to show the texture of the water and ice. To achieve this, I brought the photo into Topaz Lab’s Clarity app, which does a great job in increasing contrast at different detail levels. It’s worth playing around in this to get the exact look you’re after. After I was happy with how the water look, I simply combined the top half of the image that was edited in Lightroom, with this bottom half, using Photoshop.

That’s all there is to this image!

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