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"Nutimik Lake"



The Whiteshell region in eastern Manitoba is spectacular in autumn when the hardwood forest starts to change color.



I stood at a narrows where a fast-flowing stream emptied into the lake. A long exposure (4 seconds) blurred the rushing water. But I wanted the water to look even more silky-smooth - in contrast to the fine detail of the forest - so I softened it (and the sky) by turning down the level of fine-contrast (using a tool in DxO PhotoLab). 

While softening the appearance of water and sky, I wanted to retain the sharpness and detail of the forest. I made two copies of the image - one with the softening effect and one without - and layered the softened one on top of the other. I then erased the forest area from the top layer. I had to be especially careful when using the photoshop eraser tool at the border where the forest meets the sky so that the blending would be smooth and seamless. I turned the opacity setting of the eraser down to 25 percent to accomplish this.

The light in the BEFORE image looked a little flat. I fixed this with tone curve adjustments. There was also a yellowish color cast that masked much of the interesting color variation in the forest. I addressed this with a color-balance adjustment in photoshop.

I cropped the image a little and adjusted the horizon line to correct the slight upward tilt of the BEFORE image.

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