Photo: Lake Hancock at Circle B Bar Reserve

Lake Hancock at Circle B Bar Reserve in Florida

As we were walking the trails at the Circle B Bar Reserve in Lakeland, Florida, we came across this observation platform over the waters of Lake Hancock. It looked like a great place to take a break from walking, so we enjoyed going out over the water for a view of the lake and a view down the shore. And on top of that, I liked the view of the platform on the lake, too, especially when it was framed by the live oak trees and Spanish moss.

This photo also became an exercise in layering so that I could get the look that I wanted. Fortunately, I had set my camera to take five brackets (-2, -1, 0, +1, +2). But I ended up using only three of them. Below are the ones that I used.


The above photo is the normal exposure. But the sky was much more washed out than what I wanted. I could have used Lightroom to bring down the highlights, but I didn’t think it would be enough.


This next photo was the underexposed (-1) photo. The sky in it was much better, although much of the details in the oak tree and moss are missing.


I used this overexposed (+2) photo. I used it mainly to get some of the detail of the tree limb at the upper right, as well as some detail in the moss and leaves.

To make a long story short, I blended all of those exposures together in Photoshop using luminosity masks, and I applied several adjustment layers, some to the individual exposures and others to the entire image, so that I could get the look that I wanted. And if the resulting photo looks natural enough that the work I put into it isn’t really apparent, then that is just fine.

To me, it is a good reminder of the peaceful scene we enjoyed while we were there.

About the photo:
Three RAW exposures (-1, 0 +2), processed in Photoshop. Read more about the photo software and gear I use at the camera gear page.
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M10
Lens: Olympus 14-42mm IIR

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Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.