Beaver Lake, Montreal, Quebec, Canada by Chase Hirt

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Montreal is a truly beautiful place, especially in the peak of fall! For my first time visiting, the weather definitely did not disappoint. I walked around Beaver Lake in search of the best possible composition to show both the scope of the park and the lake itself. Taking test pictures at multiple locations around the path, I settled on anchoring my photograph with the curving path on the right of the frame. This choice both served to give the image a powerful leading line as well as giving the viewer an idea of context. I chose a long exposure of thirty seconds as my base image to blur out the constant stream of tourists clogging up the right side of my composition and combined this with another long exposure for the dramatic sky. I also blended in an eight-minute exposure to remove the masses of people dotting the grassy slope in the center of the frame.

I chose to emphasize the natural contrast between the lovely blue toned sky and reflection with the reds and oranges of the vibrant autumnal foliage. The perfect reflection of the glowing autumnal trees surrounding the lake complemented the fast-moving clouds, which took on a magnificent hue as they caught the burning sunset light. I was able to preserve most of the dynamic range in the scene in-camera by utilizing a three stop soft graduated neutral density filter to tone down the bright sky combined with a ten stop filter to bring out the reflection.

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