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Not to Scale by Mashuto Not to Scale by Mashuto
Canon EOS 60D | EF-S 15-85 @15mm | 1/320s, 1/1250s | f/6.3 | ISO 400

An image I dug up from my archives. I struggled with this one for a while. While on vacation last year in New Zealand, I visited Milford Sound, which if you are unfamiliar, is one of the most spectacular places I have ever seen and probably on the planet. The weather was not great, to say the least, and only started to become more interesting as we were on a boat taking a tour through the sound.

Technically this was a very difficult shot to capture and edit. Due to the extreme lighting conditions, my camera was clearly unable to capture all the dynamic range in one shot, so I was doing my best to bracket shots... from a moving boat. Needless to say that presented some challenges.

In the end I found two frames that I was able to match up well enough to recover enough of the highlights. Not sure if I pushed the processing a bit too far on this one, but I thought I would at least post this one up to share and get opinions. Critiques are most welcome on this one!

Also, in case you are wondering, these mountains rise straight out of the water at least a few thousand feet, with the tallest, mitre peak (not seen in this shot, off to the left) rising over 5000 feet straight above sea level. That tiny waterfall in the background, 400-500 feet tall.
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To start, this is a wonderful shot, and in my opinion, I do believe it deserves a great rating.

The angle and timing where the picture was taken is just perfect, where the sun is shining out and upon the water. The angle is great to capture both the sky, sun and mountain parts.

The camera used is a great use of taking pictures, so it captues the intimate details, and it isn't some blurry picture.

It really did create an impact for me. It showed how peaceful things can be in nature, and it really inspired me.

Overall, this is a magnificent picture, and it really is a beautiful place in nature.
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
4 out of 4 deviants thought this was fair.

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turbop Featured By Owner May 29, 2014  Hobbyist Filmographer
This is Epic !!!
please High resolution :)
Mashuto Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks! I usually don't release high resolution images as I work very hard on my photos, and while I love to share, I do not want to just give them away. This image also actually has a little bit of quality problems at full resolution due to it being taken on a moving boat as well as the ultra high contrast lighting at the time.
Yinn-Dren Featured By Owner May 29, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
It's wonderfull !Llama Emoji-23 (Shyness) [V1] 
Mashuto Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
LAlight Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2013  Professional Photographer
This doesn't even look like a real place...what a stunning capture. And I don't think you pushed this one too far at all. 
Mashuto Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Yea, and believe me, I have been there and still can't believe its a real place.
Unkopierbar Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2013   Photographer
This is a beautiful photo and I am impressed by the fact that you managed to take two matching photos from a moving boat. You might be surprised but one eye-catcher clearly is the sunglow (good choice to not eliminate it). On this reduced level, it complements the areas of the mountains that are not sunlit. I really like the contrast between the light and the dark silhouttes here. In my opinion, this should remain the only focus of the image.

Since there is a slightly harsh transition between the vegetated mountain in the foreground and the mainly gray and white background, a second focus is set on the left side of the photo. This is a little confusing to me because it causes the eyes to swing from the right to the left and the other way round without knowing where to stay. You could probably solve the issue by making a new crop with an image ratio of 16:9 where the big white cloud at the top and some parts of the left mountain would be cut off. In this case, the water area would also gain more space in the photo in order to have a greater effect.

All in all, you captured an impressive landscape with an enjoyable sunset light. Even though the composition could be improved, the results turn out pretty good - especially when I consider the circumstances under which you shot the image(s). Thanks for sharing! :)
Mashuto Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks! I really appreciate the in depth comment and critique.

I am not sure cropping the top down a bit would really achieve what I want with this image. I really want to convey the sense of scale with this one, and being able to see that extra bit on the top left is important to me because it shows that it just keeps going up and up.

However though, based on your comments I do see what you are talking about, it is a very bright green chunk of the image and certainly can distract the eye as it searches for the background then gets pulled to a part of the image that was not meant to be a focal point, only an anchor to convey that sense of scale I mentioned.

The truth is that I did this edit rather quickly as I was not entirely sure how I felt about the image and I do feel like it could use some improvement. I will at some point go back and re-edit this shot and probably drop the brightness level and saturation of the mountainside on the left to de-emphasize it a bit so it does not distract from the rest.
Anths95 Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow... what a picture! I personally like the bright sunglow, I think it gives a greater sense of depth in this picture (which is crucial for how massive everything is here). Amazing work!
Mashuto Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Yea, I originally wanted to eliminate the sunglow, but blending allowed me to tame it down to an acceptable level, one that actually complements the photo instead of taking away from it. Thanks!
Anths95 Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm actually kinda glad you couldn't eliminate it completely, it looks stunning with it, actually :) 

You're welcome! Thank YOU for sharing this beautiful picture with DA :) 
COLOREDINLOVE Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You have seen some gorgeous places!! Love the water and mountains..a really great shot Matt!! :love:0
It's like watching a movie open..the sunlight..brightening the clouds..fluffy and billowing..the greens of the hills...all around awesome!!
Mashuto Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Yes, I have been incredibly lucky to have visited the places I have visited. It was a truly awe inspiring place and I just tried to get this image to do it some justice. Thanks!
COLOREDINLOVE Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You always manage to create something so gorgeous and such incredible colors and vibrance~!!
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Submitted on
July 6, 2013
Image Size
554 KB


209 (who?)

Camera Data

Canon EOS 60D
Shutter Speed
1/1250 second
Focal Length
15 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
May 27, 2012, 11:23:47 PM
Adobe Photoshop CS6 (Windows)
Sensor Size