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January 15, 2008
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1000 words by AndyMumford 1000 words by AndyMumford
A picture paints a thousand words
So here’s a thousand words about the dawn in the Amazon.

Location

This image was made around 5 minutes before dawn on my first morning in the Amazon.
It had rained heavily during the night, but when I awoke just as the sky was beginning to get light, you could already feel the heat. It’s around 3º south of the equator, and the temperature never really went below the high 20s ºc
I found waking up so early much easier there, as we only had electricity in the lodge between sunset at 6pm and 10pm at night (it was a tiny wooden place on an island among the tributaries of the Amazon), and so we slept with the cycles of the light. We’d be asleep by 9pm, and then wake up at 5 for the dawn.

The heavy rain had made the wooden walkways slippy as I made my way across the island to the landing pier. The walkways are all on stilts around 6 meters above the island, and they swayed quite a lot as I walked, which coupled with the dark, the wet wood and the huge noise of the jungle around me (it was my first night, so everything felt new) was quite unnerving.

I arrived at the edge of the island, going down the steps to the floating pier, where I set up my tripod. The night’s rain was already evaporating in the heat, creating a mist which partially hid the far bank, and there was a stillness in the air which made such a peaceful atmosphere.
I spent around 45 minutes there shooting the mist, the river and the sunrise. The sun rises incredibly quickly at this latitude, and just 15 minutes after the sun first cleared the horizon, it was already high in the sky and too strong for photography.

Technique

To be honest, I took so many photos on so many different dawns that it’s hard to remember exact details.
For many of these shots I was limited in terms of composition as there was no real foreground to shoot. I used the pier in quite a few shots as a foreground, but I felt that with the reflections, the images worked better if there was nothing to distract from the sky and it’s reflection in the water, so I often just placed the horizon across the middle and composed that way.

In terms of exposure, the pier I was standing on was actually floating and longer exposures tended to result in the far bank being blurred due to the bobbing of the pier. I tried to move as little as possible in order to keep the pier as still as possible, and also to keep try to stop the pier from making ripples, but this was pretty difficult.

The best solution was to get exposures as fast as possible, so I opened up the aperture a little to give me a faster shutter speed. I wasn’t too worried about depth of field as the focal length was pretty wide and there was no foreground to keep sharp in focus.

I took a meter reading from the water, and then checked the sky, which was two stops brighter, so I used a 2 stop neutral density filter with a soft graduation along the trees to balance them both together.
At f6.7, I could get a shutter speed of 1/45, which is plenty fast enough to avoid any blur from the pier moving.

Post Processing

Very little has been done to the image in post. The original shot is landscape format, but to the right of the image it’s a little darker and I thought it was distracting, so I cropped it into a square.
Other than that, I tweaked contrast a tiny bit in levels, converted to JPEG, resized it to 900pixels across and then sharpened the image.
Finally I added a frame and the title.

Metadata

Taken on Rio Juma, The Amazon, Brazil
Nikon D80 | Nikkor 18-200mm VR | Nikon Cable release
Manfrotto 190XProB w/ 322RC2 ballhead
Lee 0.6 (2 stop) soft GND
1/45 | f6.7 | 18mm

Workflow in Apple Aperture. Frame and title in PS
Add a Comment:
 
:iconfredscalliet:
fredScalliet Featured By Owner May 19, 2014   Photographer
:thumbsup: :heart: :wow: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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:iconbarcon53:
barcon53 Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2012
Wonderful, absolutley wonderful!
Reply
:iconpatguli:
Patguli Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2012
Magnifique
Reply
:iconvw1956:
vw1956 Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Beautiful work!
Reply
:iconadotintheuniverse:
ADotInTheUniverse Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
It reminds me of Claude Monet, Impression, Soleil Levant.
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2011
Thanks so much
Reply
:iconservetifunun:
servetifunun Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2011  Student Photographer
looks like watercolor painting :) awesome photo
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2011
Thanks so much
Reply
:iconvangha:
Vangha Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2010
Next new bacground for Windows desktop. I love it.
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2010
Thanks so much
Reply
:iconrunaque:
Runaque Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
AMAZING!!! :O
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2010
Thanks so much
Reply
:icondominique-merot:
dominique-merot Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2010
Superb !
Reply
:icontibbet2000:
tibbet2000 Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2010
i have featured this lovely work on my page
Reply
:iconyelenalianazaltana:
YelenaLianaZaltana Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2010
WOW.........wait I need to let this sink in...........this is so beautiful, so soft.
I LOVE it!!! :happycry:
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2010
Thanks so much, glad you like it
Reply
:iconyelenalianazaltana:
YelenaLianaZaltana Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2010
You are more than welcome. Really love your gallery!! :love:
Reply
:iconladygarbanzo:
LadyGarbanzo Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2010
beautiful shot!
Reply
:iconx-crossroad:
x-crossroad Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2010  Student Photographer
so soft, so cute, co warm colors.
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2010
Thanks so much
Reply
:iconraphael-ben-dor:
Raphael-Ben-Dor Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2010  Professional Photographer
Beautiful work
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2010
Thanks so much
Reply
:iconmeihua:
meihua Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2010
Beautiful shot! Wow!
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2010
Thankyou
Reply
:iconliajedi:
liajedi Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2010
Like a poetry. So smooth.
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2010
Thanks so much
Reply
:iconmaiteia:
maiteia Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2010
Es mágico.
Felicidades por todo tu hermoso trabajo.
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2010
Thanks so much
Reply
:iconalban-expressed:
alban-expressed Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2010
Excellent shot. :-)
Reply
:iconhcms:
hcms Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2010
dude, this photo is amazing, you really are one of the best landscape photographers i've seen
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2010
Thanks so much, that's a lovely comment
Reply
:iconhcms:
hcms Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2010
no problem, it is well deserved. I have followed your work for a while now and you never ceased to surprise me with original and better stuff. I am only now starting to discover landscape photography and you have really mastered it.

PS i recently found out you taught a friend of mine in the British council, I wish i'd got you as a teacher too, i'd have transformed the english class into a photography class ;)
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2010
Well, thanks again.
I'm probably a better photographer than I am teacher. What's your friend's name, and what level was he/she in? I'll see if I can remember them
Reply
:iconhcms:
hcms Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2010
I think he was a student of yours last year, i'm not sure about the level though, his name is Manuel Maria, he was 15 last year and he is a total football addict lol. He always spoke highly of you, I bet your classes were good.

Here are two photos of him I took at different concerts, but i'm not sure if he is very recognisable during concerts ;)


[link]
[link]
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2010
Ah, I remember him just from the name actually (although your shots are good and I could recognize him easily from them). I taught him last year on Saturday mornings...it was a nice class, and he was a really friendly, interesting student. Tell him I hope everything is going well for him with the music and the football.

All the best, Andy
Reply
:iconhcms:
hcms Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2010
lol thank you for the compliment, all give him your best!
I am taking a 400 Km bike trip with him and a few other friends this summer I hope I have a few shots worth seeing in the end ;)
by the way have you left Portugal for good? I noticed your most recent works are from abroad.

Best regards,
Henrique
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2010
Cheers Henrique.
No, I still live in Portugal...this is my home. I'm just submitting shots from my holidays at the moment because I don't have time to go landscape shooting in Portugal right now.
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconfelinnoir:
felinnoir Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2010
beautiful one
Reply
:icongeaausten:
GeaAusten Featured By Owner May 24, 2010  Professional General Artist
I think this is the most beautiful photo I've ever seen ..... sigh
Reply
:icongeaausten:
GeaAusten Featured By Owner May 23, 2010  Professional General Artist
this is exquisite !
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner May 24, 2010
Thankyou
Reply
:iconjorapache:
Jorapache Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2010
Amazing waterscape! :)
Reply
:iconmaciej-koniuszy:
Maciej-Koniuszy Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2010   Photographer
Great photo.
Reply
:icon1001g:
1001G Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2010
wonderfully done indeed
Reply
:icon7oran:
7oran Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2010
Beautiful.:)
Reply
:iconigorkawecki:
IgorKawecki Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2010
Really good Andy

[link]
Reply
:iconswoosh:
swoosh Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2009
This is magic!
Reply
:iconjoinnovate:
JoInnovate Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
Great capture!
Reply
:iconfotottiv:
fotottiv Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2009  Professional Photographer
excelente!
Reply
:iconoro-elui:
oro-elui Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
wow.
Reply
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