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Reverence by AndyMumford Reverence by AndyMumford

It was dawn on our third day in the Amazon. I'd been up at 5am on the previous 2 days to photograph early morning mist on the river and the sunrise, but on this day our guide had offered to take us out in a canoe to see the sunrise across one the the lakes that forms in the various tributaries of the Amazon.

As soon as we got to the wooden pier I could see that there was going to be no mist today, but already the sky was turning a very deep pink, and inside of me bells started to ring that it might be a very special sunrise.

There were 6 of us in the boat, and 2 guides who paddled the canoe across the lake almost without a ripple. It's funny because the noise of the jungle at sunrise and sunset is truly incredible. There's the constant buzz of the cicadas, punctuated by the deep calls of the frogs. Above that you've got the deep roar of the howling monkeys, the calls of all the different birds and the occasional splash as an alligator slithers into the water from the bank, or a dolphin breaks the surface to breathe.
All this noise is at such an incredibly loud volume and all around you, yet at the same time it actually makes you feel peaceful.
Perhaps that's why each one of us in the boat was whispering...

After I took this shot I put my camera down because I knew that it quite simply was not going to get any better, and I wanted to share the moment with my wife.

For a couple of minutes, no one in the boat uttered a single word..we just looked and thought our different thoughts.
In my life, it's perhaps the most overwhelmed I've ever been by nature and her incredible beauty.


Usually with my photographs I have a very slow, very methodical process using my tripod and careful metering of the scene.
Often in the Amazon that wasn't possible because I did so much shooting from a tiny boat, so I was hand holding the camera most of the time.
Because of the low light levels, I pushed the camera's ISO 2/3s of a stop to ISO160 and opened the aperture up to f4 so I could get a relatively quick shutter speed that wouldn't blur the far bank.
It was even more important on this shot as we were actually moving (although very very slowly) and I didn't want the branches to have any blur.

So often during this holiday I didn't have time to measure exposure variations in the sky to choose filters, and often just guessed and relied on experience. Reflections of the sky are generally 2 stops darker than the actual sky itself and I didn't want to over-filter the sky so it was darker than the reflection, so I generally just used a 2 stop filter with the graduation line placed along the horizon and snapped away.

In terms of composition, with reflections I put the horizon right across the middle to try to make a symmetrical image.
I was sitting on the bottom of the boat leaning across the side with my camera as close to the water as I could get it, and just when I was thinking that the image just needed something else in the foreground to finish it off, we drifted past these submerged trees (the water levels of the Amazon fluctuate 10 meters between seasons, so we were drifting across a forest that in 8 months will be uncovered by the water. The foreground branches are actually the very tops of submerged trees).


Taken on Rio Juma, the Amazon, Brazil
Nikon D80 | Sigma 10-20mm
Lee 0.6 (2 stop) hard GND
1/60 | f4 | ISO 160 | 10mm

Workflow in Apple Aperture (sharpening and contrast). Frame and title in PS
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Minnekahda Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2012
Beyond words. This is dumbfounding beauty.
fyredrgn Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Absolutely stunning.
BlairSantos Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2012

bluedragoneye Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow Breathtaking beautiful shot
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2012
Thanks a lot :-)
bluedragoneye Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
you are most welcome
Snizok Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
It's breathtaking<3
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2011
JungleAisling Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2011
So beautiful!
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2011
Thanks so much
Photima Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2010
That sky is to die for!
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2010
Waykmunn Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2010
I faved the photo, but not only because of its beauty: the story was absolutely wonderful, I could imagine myself in such a situation and look at the picture, and just... be taken away.
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2010
Thanks so was a really really special moment
mintair Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2010
Featured: [link]
Please fave the article, that people can find it!:heart:
FlorinALF Featured By Owner May 7, 2010
Featured in my Journal :icondirtyboyalf:
RomanticRevenge Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2009
AmberSunset Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2009   Photographer
Unbelievable colors and reflections...
Reluctant-Uryu Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2009
Excuse me sir, but would you at all mind if I use this shot as my desktop background? It is simply inspirational. I promise not one thing more shall be done with it. If someone is interested in it, I will surely forward them to you so that they might buy a print of it!
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2009
No problem :-)
Reluctant-Uryu Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2010
Excellent! Thank you. :)
strangelight Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2009
Hi Andy, I've featured this shot here - I hope that's OK! If not, please let me know...
Charon1 Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2009
This is amazing and very beautiful.
Fantastic shot!
vollyy Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
hi, look-in my journal [link]
ogiedomane Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2009
featured [link]
FlippinPhil Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2009  Professional Photographer
Hey :wave:

This has been featured - [link]
simon0108 Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
Amazing light, clouds, reflection, picture,... :D =)
LRMHamilton Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
It looks so surreal! Wow! It's like the sky and the water are on fire:D
FFgirl7 Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2009
Whoa! Amazing shot!! :omg: :jawdrop:
lakemans Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2009
Hi Andy, do you find your sigma 10-20 AF lights fail you sometimes? Is this a sigma trait? as my canon lenses have the 9 AF lights in my 400d up and lit.
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2009
I don't have the Sigman anymore...sold it when I bought the D3 last year.
I don't remember the AF lights ever failing, the AF was generally pretty reliable to be honest. I've read a lot that Sigma have very sloppy quality control and that it's a lot easier to get a bad copy of a lens, and a lot more lens variation, than you get with Nikon or Canon.
Zx20 Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
Absolutely gorgeous shot! :iconhappyfellaavatar:
JCapela Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
stunning shot :)
MeaninglessOne Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
Alex37 Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
I must have missed this one first time round, I swear it wasnt in my inbox. The sky here is insanely ridiculous, I've never seen anything like it. The foreground doubles up on the magic and the branch just gives that little bit of extra interest to hang the composition on. Awesome shot Andy
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2009
Cheers Alex. This was the first shot I submitted from the Amazon, and yeah, the sky was incredible for a few minutes, I doubt I'll ever forget that morning
MirjanaBalog Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2009
your work is featured here: [link]
thank you!
FireBoar Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
darkpeter Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2009
Beautiful place and sky...everything is beautiful:)
In-the-picture Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
:iconflowerdanceplz: Glad I saw this at [link] a fave of course :iconflowerdanceplz:
RooCat Featured By Owner May 31, 2009
papatheo Featured By Owner May 29, 2009  Professional Photographer
:D Your fantastic photograph has been featured [link]
papatheo Featured By Owner May 29, 2009  Professional Photographer
THE most spectacular sunrise photo I've ever seen!!!!
b-wman Featured By Owner May 28, 2009
You have been featured here:[link]

Hope you like it!

Spamkiller Featured By Owner May 15, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm featuring this beautiful piece in my Mind-blowing Feature: [link] .
If you don't want to be featured, please note me and I'll remove it.

Brillantneon Featured By Owner May 4, 2009
You are my hero!! :+favlove:
Kaelthas-Wolfheart Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wonderful...One of the most beautiful sunsets I have had the privilege to see
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2009
Thanks so much (but it's not a sunset, it's a sunrise ;-))
Kaelthas-Wolfheart Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
ohhhh interesting....:D
its still great....Thanks for catching what nature gives, butsometimes cant see
apocalypse-ae Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2009   Photographer
looks like lava in the sky! :)
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Submitted on
January 4, 2008
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