I absolutely love reflections.. There is something about them that for me points to a world that's there, but not quite. They don't always make a good photograph though, as it's not easy to weave the reflection into the story of the shot.
I found this spot purely out of luck. I was shooting with a group of friends when one of them asked me to get out of his shot, so I moved. And I stumbled upon this scene. The grass, the rocks, the clouds all point to the mountain. And the reflection of the clouds complete this, because the reflection at its turn points to the mountain.
Most of the time I leave working with light towards the end, mainly because I want to get the photo to the best possible place before adding light. In this case I did exactly the opposite. I also introduced a bit of color disruption in LAB so I can later have enough material for saturation work.
Initially a 4x5 crop looked like the way to go. I punched up the lights in ACR and then added overall contrast to the foreground.
I then realized that 4x5 puts way too much emphasis on the foreground and I was also losing the "in and forward" movement of all the other elements. If you followed my work a bit you'd know by know that I rarely go with the default 3x2 crop format. It looks to 'long' for me, especially for vertical photos. I do try to stay within certain proportions though. So I went with a 5x7. I followed with yet more color in LAB and I brightened the mid-tones.
And now for the difficult part, at least for this composition. The mountain is too small to really make a difference. Different lenses do different things to the scene. A telephoto compresses everything, so items that are away from the camera seem closer to each other. A wide angle makes the foreground look very big and close and the background look very small and far away. There are situations when this is exactly the intended result. But this was not one of them.
Last but not least a bit of Orton to taste, more light on the mountain and toning down a bit saturation in the sky. And done.
You can find the bigger version here: http://www.brunovais.com/earth/h441a9653#h44b1c88b
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