Behind-The-Scenes: Truckee River

Have you ever been on vacation or a road trip and come across a really beautiful spot that you’d LOVE to photograph – but under less than optimal conditions? Maybe the light isn’t right, there are no cool clouds to offer some punch – but the place itself is lovely, you’d love to capture it and you don’t have the option to lie about until everything is perfect? I know it’s happened to me! So as part of my ‘short video tutorial’ series, I made this one to offer some composition tips and post-processing ideas that can help you make the most of “meh” shooting conditions.



I photographed the Truckee River on this day after the sun had gone down. The light was flat, there were no clouds – the sky was this dull blueish gray – and it was that in-between winter and spring time around here that can either be really dull or super cool to photograph, depending on how things line up. The AWESOME thing was the river itself – and the mirror-like reflections going on that day. With a little snow for pop, the contrast between the evergreens and bare willow branches – the scene had some cool elements that I particularly like.

Since I live in the area, I could have come back another time – but I decided those conditions were perfect to make my point. That with some thought to composition and a more adventurous approach to processing, you can not only capture these less-that-perfect-conditions moments of the awesome places YOU encounter – but create your own vision of them.

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