Early morning in Kahna Tiger Reserve in India, not a breath of wind and the pond has a glass-like reflective sheen. It's worth pausing from our pursuit of tigers and other wildlife to take in the scene and consider the photographic possibilities.
The early light picks out the foliage of the trees on the far shoreline and is evident in the refection of course. There is a blackened dead tree, standing stick-like and reflected perfectly in the water as well. For me, this element becomes a critical part of the composition, placed about a quarter to a third of the way into the right side of the frame. Photographers can learn a great deal by watching painters and studying their art. I recall watching a video some time ago showing the work in progress of a well known watercolour artist. His painting took shape in front of the camera but came alive with the final addition of a single bold line to hold the composition together. The blackened tree is my "single bold line"!
Colour and Monochrome Processing
I have prepared two versions of the photo, one in colour and one in monochrome. Most of the major adjustments, (mostly global and some localised, contrast) were made at the colour stage. The monochrome was taken from the completed colour version with a black and white conversion and some further, minor, tweaks to contrast and then a subtle sepia toning.
Early morning at the pond. Colour version.
Early morning at the pond. Monochrome version.
As always the choice between colour or monochrome is always a subjective one for both the photographer and the viewer. ~KD.