70-200mm IS lens, Birds, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Morning

In the morning, you can often find me outside.  I love being out in the light and quiet of the early part of the day.  I’ve just moved over this summer, and so my landscape has changed.  Meet one of my new neighbors:

ISO 100 155mm f/13 1/100

ISO 100 155mm f/13 1/100

Between the two lakes I visit in the morning, there are five adult swans.  There are plenty of other birds and the beautiful haze of morning light.  I don’t usually take my camera with me first thing, I’m out for my morning run or walk just soaking in the day, not yet photographing it.  Yesterday morning, I made an exception, I went out with my camera before going out for my run.  I got a few photos of these swans, I took them from several angles so the light looks different in them.  This particular one, I shot into the sun.  I wanted the saturated light of the sun to be in the photo.  What I lost by doing that was detail in the swan.  To bring back some of that detail when I was editing in Photoshop, I duplicated the original layer.  The bottom layer I sharpened.  The top layer I put a mask on and then masked back in some of the details in the swan.  This meant that the more hazy feel of the light could stay in the photo.  Then I cropped the photo, because as you will see below, this swan was not by himself:

ISO 100 155mm f/13 1/100

ISO 100 155mm f/13 1/100

To me, these edits made a pretty radical difference.  To be honest, I’m not sure which I prefer.  The second seems more like a snapshot and the green near the second swan just kind of bugs me.  But the overall feel of the light I do like in the second photo.  There is another photo from this series that I am editing that I am having a similar struggle; I’m just not sure which version of the photograph I prefer.

Do you run into this with your photography, having difficulty picking between two versions of an image?  What do you think of my versions, do you have a preference? Feel free to leave a comment below.



43 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Morning

  1. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Morning — Photography Journal Blog – shoptodayblog

  2. I definitely like the final shot. Very clever of you to duplicate the layer to sharpen the swan and put the focus on it. I like the haziness of it all – gives a dreamy feel about the image. Reminds me of a fairytale. Enjoy those morning walks 🙂


  3. The first one is my 100% fav
    Although the second brought in a setting and details – and I was looking for the green – did u mean in the water?
    I like the second photo for the context and amiable or social feel-
    But the first photo pulled me in from the reader –
    – I am sitting here scrolling with some Java (morning here in the states – ☀️)
    And when the feature image came up – I actually asked myself – “who is this blogger” – because I have about 15 new bloggers in me feed – maybe a few more – and whew – it has been nice – like seeing sunrises from Georgiemoon (who lives on her yacht) anyhow – I smiled to see PJB- and this does highlight your new life – a much different bird from the seasons of chicks –
    Anyhow – the entire left side of the first photo whispered to me of a dreamy feel – a light and inviting lighter feel with the calm ripple – poised bird – and entire composition has interest –
    I also just wrote a poem about a person who was hurt by others – they shot down her confidence and she is healing from wings cut back too much – it was a bit heavy for me – and in a way – this first photo had a stability and strength vibe – with the swan tall and strong-
    I put my coffee down to look around – ha
    But now it is time for a reheat – peace

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I prefer the cropped version Amy. I love the use of light but sometimes so much detail is lost. Your new neighbours warm my heart. How fun to have a visit with them first thing in the morning.


  5. Pingback: Morning on the Mountain – Get Lost

  6. I also have swan close to my flat. I was hoping for chick this year but we couldn’t see any. Since I live in city centre, and since there is so many people passing by, I think their nest has been disturbed at one point — that or it’s two males 😀

    I love the first picture, I quite like the angle of it 🙂


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