Stump Removal by Terry Schmidbauer
Stump Removal, a photo by Terry Schmidbauer on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Rattlesnake Lake is getting to be my go to place for photo shoots. This is from a couples shoot in a tandem kayak on the Northwest side of the lake. I had the idea of doing a river kayak shoot over a month ago but I just couldn’t pull it together. Not only do you have to schedule two people for the same time but there’s the logistics of doing a river shuttle for the pickup and drop points. So I bailed on the idea and just went to a place that I’m already very framiler with.

Although I pressed the shutter button over 1200 times in this shoot, it was still hard to find one image that was a defining moment. It’s really hard to position yourself and hold steady while in a kayak. (Yes, this was taken from a kayak.) So to get a shot like this was a major accomplishment for me. It’s really important to have the model’s faces showing with each one having a pleasant look. In this frame not only are the paddles in a great position to continue the angle of the sunlight, they are also out of the way of the models faces which are looking back into the frame, bonus ponts! It was also really important to me that the models were rim lit but not in total shadow as what happens all too often with rim lighted subjects. The water dripping from the right paddle was another huge bonus! The whole composition is a wonderful triangle created by the light direction and the reflections which points to the right while the gaze of the models brings the viewer’s eye back into the frame.

In the original capture there was a stump in the water right in the middle of the frame that almost made me overlook this shot. I had to go into Photoshop and remove it. Not only did I have to remove the stump, I had to recreate the bushes in the background and make sure the water reflections were correct. Yes, water reflections! I didn’t realize that I had to compensate for that until after I took a step back to review retouching task. I always take a step away from my monitor to do a final review and this time I discovered a huge error in my retouching. But it was an easy fix by grabbing some darker reflections from the other parts of the scene.