This is the original photo I made of the Panamint Mountains and the sky reflected in the water in the Badwater. It is interesting, but the blueish color is monotonous and “cold”. I liked the subject and composition and wanted to see what i could do to warm up the color or make it a black and white.
#1 Original Image
Here is the black and white version. There is not a wide variation in the tonal range, so removing the color made it even more monotonous.
#2 Black and White Version
After trying both, I really liked the final picture below. This abstract water reflection at Badwater is the final image. A complimentary color was used to counterbalance the cool tones and create visual tension. Using the Duplex filter in Nik Color Effects Pro made it easy to find the right complimentary color. As you can also see, with a little help from processing software, I took out the distracting black rock in the foreground. Our processing “code of conduct” is to take out distracting objects, and especially artificial ones (like telephone poles), but we never add anything in. We will definitely blog about the ethics of photo processing in the future.
#3 Color Version
Ultimately its a matter of personal preference. Tell us which one you prefer1, 2, or 3.
Stay tuned for our next post where will explore and include additional ideas, tips, and techniques for photographing reflections. To see more of our photographs, go to www.pamphotography.com.