Fraser Sunrise

© Mark English

Fraser Sunrise

Uploaded: April 25, 2002


Velvia - 2 stop Singh-Ray soft edge ND Grad to balance sky with water.


Piper Lehman April 25, 2002

Absolutely gorgeous, Mark. Not only a terrific sky, but a dynamic silhoette and reflections to boot! Nice, nice, nice! #5086

Adam Bolt April 25, 2002

Agreed, this is a cut above your average Sunset/Sunrise. Awesome work Mark.
PS When you say Frazer Sunrise... is it Frazer Island AUS you are talking about 'caus if it is I'm booking for the next Whale watching season.
Cheers Adam #7289

Mark English April 25, 2002

No, this the Fraser ('s' not 'z') River, in SW British Columbia, Canada. About 1 1/2 miles from my home... on a VERY cold pre=dawn January morning, as I remember.

Thanks for your kind words, also thanks to Piper #7292

Debbie Groff May 10, 2002

I dream of taking a picture as beautiful as this someday. I mean I wake up thinking about and go to sleep thinking about it. So beautiful. That moon really makes the serene mood come to life! #7813

Mark English May 10, 2002

Paul & Debbie:
Thanks for your compliment... this type of image really insn't that hard to create. The most difficult part is getting out of bed early enough to be there, ready go about 45 minutes or so before sunrise! I used a shareware program and a compass to predict when the moon would be in this exact position (more or less) and then simply arrived at the approriate time fired away. #7840

Carlos E. Rentas May 13, 2002


First...Congratulations! Definitely a step way above your normal sunrise/sunset pictures. your description you mention '2 stop Singh-Ray soft edge ND Grad to balance sky with water'...what does it all translate to? What's ND Grad? Stopped up or down?

Thanks, Carlos

Piper Lehman May 13, 2002

Carlos, I think Mark was saying that he used a 2-stop ND (neutral density) grad (graduated) filter for this. (Singh-Ray is just the brand name, by the way.) A two stop graduated ND will bring the two exposure extremes of your scene to a closer medium, hence a correct exposure all around. Had he not used the filter, he would have to choose between a great sky and a silhouetted lake or a beautiful body of water with a burnt-out sky. You notice the mountains are silhouetted. These were just too dark for even the 2-stop medium. He was also using Velvia (a slide film with an ISO of 25 or some such number), which has a narrower exposure lattitude than print film anyway. Short story is that if you have two exposure extremes in your scene, your camera cannot reach that far both ways, so the ND grad helps the camera see the two extremes as merely two exposures within its reach. Hope this helps.

P.S. Sorry to answer your question to Mark, but the link popped up in my e-mail, and I thought I'd give it a whirl. #7958

Mark English May 13, 2002

Piper has explained as well as I could. The filter is rectangular in shape, clear on the bottom, and beginning in the middle it quickly transitions to a neutral grey colour that ultimately holds back the light in the top half by 75%, or two stops.
Velvia has a "published" ISO of 50, but I, and most outhers set our camera meters at ISO 40, as this is likely closer to the "true" speed of the film. #7959

Piper Lehman May 13, 2002

Well, I guess you can tell I don't use Velvia very often...

Why do you think Fuji hasn't just changed the ISO of Velvia to 40 since so many photogs set it at 40, Mark? I notice this coming up a lot. I don't think I've ever heard of anyone who uses it at ISO 50.

I'm a print film user at the moment. Can't quite convince myself to make the switch to slide film, though I know the change is inevitable if I ever want to sell my work. How do you get over that shock of having to either project your work or view it with a loupe and a light table? I guess I like the convenience of thumbing through 3x5 prints before scanning. Something about being able to hold your work in your hands and seeing it without the aid of magnification.

I would appreciate any nudging you can give me, plus any pros you can think of for using slides. #7966

Mark English May 14, 2002

>>Why do you think Fuji hasn't just changed the ISO of Velvia to 40 since so many photogs set it at 40, Mark? I notice this coming up a lot. I don't think I've ever heard of anyone who uses it at ISO 50<<

Can't say for sure... but film ISO ratings are based on carefully designed and executed laboratory tests based on standards set out by the ANSI/ISO. Trouble is we don't take pictures under laboratory conditions. We take pictures under real world conditions and of real world subjects. Back in Kodachrome's heyday, most if not all shot K64 at EI80... because the 'chromes looked better that way.
The label is never gospel, only a guideline.
If you're serious about your photography, and I know you are... then you really owe it to yourself to switch to slide film. It has less to do with selling your work than learning to deal with exposure and colour temperature issues. Print film will mask some pretty serious errors in both these areas. Photography is atleast equal parts Art and Craft. Both of these are essential to becoming the best you can be. Art with out the discipline of craft is just so many fuzzy ideas poorly presented.

Using slide film provides far more
immediate feedback to help you master this aspect of your craft.
As to "holding your work in your hands"... how ablut holding the actual piece of film you exposed, in your hands?;-) #7969

Cheryl Meisel May 16, 2002

Very pretty Congrats! Cheryl #8029

Damian P. Gadal July 30, 2002

Very nice, the sliver of moon really makes this shot! #10355

Carolyn J. Connolly level-classic October 01, 2004

Very pretty shot, Mark - just wonderful colours! :~) #815818

C A July 31, 2007

Congratulations on your second place. I just found your photo. Like the colours. Velvia likes colours :-) But I would have preffered a little bit more water at the bottom. The filter did a good job, so did you. Best wishes from holland, Corné #4583097

Mark English July 31, 2007


That's all the water taht was there... it was taken from a river bank, and to include mmore foreground woud have meant including river bank. Getting lower and closer would have changes th perspective, ie. the relation ship between foreground and background elements. As Susan Sontag wrote, "The painter constructs, the photographer discloses". In other words we can only work with what's in front of us.

Thanks. #4583456

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