Lake and fountain 5

I spent a lot of time yesterday trying to get a decent photograph of this fountain at Ascott House, Berkshire. The main problems were the weather, which was overcast and the size of the lake (actually, a pond with pretensions of grandeur)  – I really needed a longer lens. Anyway, I went with what I’ve got and am really quite pleased with the result.

Lake and fountain 1

This is the original, which is sort of ok – the basic composition isn’t too bad, but the overall effect is a bit on the washed out side.

Lake and fountain 2

Step 1 is to reduce the clarity, giving a soft, ethereal look. Step 2 is to do something about that sky. I used Photoshop to select and remove the white sky and then created a new layer behind it using a photo of the sky that I’d taken on the same day.

Lake and fountain 3

Step 2. Adding a cloudy sky adds a sense of drama and draws the trees into the picture, but can we do anything else? On the basis that less is more, I cropped the picture from portrait to landscape.

Lake and fountain 4

Step 3. Cutting out the foreground removes any sense of how large the lake is and puts the fountain firmly centre stage. Ophelia should be floating past any minute now.