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.


This morning I got up early again to head down to Folsom Lake to get some pictures. I really had no idea how to get down to the lake, but I had a general idea of where I wanted to be. Of course I ran into a checkpoint where they wanted money and a form filled out. When I explained that I was there to get a picture they just let me in. I hurried down to the beach and saw the sun just as it came over the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. I ended up circling this lake completely and then a bit taking a few pictures along the way. Some of those pictures may end up on the blog in the future. I ran into some really cool small towns with a lot of unique attractions. This is probably not the best picture that I took on the trip, but it was the easiest to process. In fact this has just been run through Photomatix with little else done to it. Maybe in the future I can post a better version of this picture. After a long day though this is the best that it is going to get.