Sunrise on Folsom Lake

Photo of the Day

During my first trip to California a couple of years ago I wanted to get a good sunrise picture. I really didn’t know the area to have an idea of someplace near Sacramento to shoot at. I saw Folsom Lake, and I knew that I had to try to get something there. As I drove up to the park I learned that it was not technically open yet. After explaining that I wanted a sunrise photo I was allowed in the park, and even given two ideas of where to shoot from. I picked the beach that was further away, and I was not disappointed. I tried using the lifeguard towers and lifeguard chairs as foreground interest. Sometimes you need something there instead of just sky and water. I think that here it works well as it reflects just enough of the morning sun to rim light itself.

Technical Data

This is one of three frames that I shot two stops apart with HDR in mind. After looking at the photos though I thought that the underexposed image had something to it. I really didn’t care to see what the lifeguard tower looked like. I used a Trey Ratcliff preset called HDR in Lightroom Drama in the Center to get started. From there I tweaked the preset so that it would work for this photo. I did not like the heavy vignette that was part of the preset so I got rid of it. I also adjusted the saturation a bit to allow the early morning colors to shine through. A few tweaks here and there, and this photo was ready for the blog.

3 Replies to “Sunrise on Folsom Lake”

  1. Nice photo! I agree that the dark shadows work for the composition, its a beautiful sunrise. And it was nice to let you in early as well….Good on them!! I often say (to myself!) ‘don’t be afraid of the dark!’. You are allowed to have extremes of shadows and highlights in a photo, and the darkness in this photo helps to create atmosphere…and a feeling of ‘being there’. Anyway, great photo!!

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