Last Gasp

last gasp

Photo of the Day

Here in West Lafayette/Lafayette we have been watching the river rise for the last few days. It reached just over 25 feet yesterday. For the record 11 feet is considered a flood. It has not been that high since the late 1950’s. Today it finally started making its way back down to a normal level. It is still far from there, but Highway 43 was nearly passable when I drove through. Had I been in someone else’s car I might have tried it. I was taking some pictures near the Highway 52 bridge when something sounded like it landed behind me. I turned and saw this fish that had to be baking on the pavement. The water went down fast enough to strand him on the road. I took a couple of quick pictures, and then helped him back to the water. Hopefully he makes it with a great story to tell his friends. I think that the eagles are gone for good because this would have been a easy target for them. Their loss was my gain though. I didn’t find any interesting subjects until this one flopped for me. I really needed something in the foreground for a picture to work. I don’t know where this fish came from, but it was a great gift.

Technical Data

This was going to be part of a three shot HDR image. The fish was still so I thought that it was dead. While the overexposed image was being taken he decided to flop. Once that happened this image was going to be made with just the one exposure. With the bright sun I had already compensated a bit so this was only one stop overexposed instead of the normal two. I brought the picture up to the proper exposure in Lightroom, and that is where the real fun began. I wanted to try a preset that I don’t normally use on this photo. The cloudless sky was boring so I thought that I could make something interesting with a preset. Maybe I have been using Instagram too much lately, but I like some of those looks. I decided to try one of Trey Ratcliff’s presets called Aurora on it. It really seemed to do the trick. I had one of his other presets on it already, but it was a bit too much. Aurora really seemed to get this image to where I wanted it. While Lightroom was slowly rendering my image something happened. My preview was a bit blurry for a second, and it gave me an idea. I took the image in Focal Point which is part of the On One Suite to add some drama to the image. I created a blur from the center of the fish that made it the focal point of the image. A good photograph does not need to do this, but I had a boring photo that needed some help. For me this made the image, and now I could post it online. Looking back through my photos I think I had a great shot had a took a couple of steps to my right and put the fish in the lower left of the picture. I was on a road though needing to work quickly so I just went up and snapped. I need to get better at seeing the scene right away. That will come with time.


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