Mush Bay, AK captured by Z 6II / Z14-24f2.8

Water reflections are such a romantic way to tell the story of a landscape. The double image of a great sky like in this photo grabs the imagination and makes the landscape seem even more vast. But water sucks up one stop of light so the reflection exposure often looks better than reality. You have many options in your photography to handle this. One, is do nothing. Two, use a split neutral density filter at the point of capture to hold back the sky or three, deal with it in post with a split grad. That’s the option I use all the time now and what I did here. The key is simply thinking through the story you want to tell. You can make the exposure of sky and reflection match which, with the right symmetry in the scene is killer! I didn’t have it in this photo so I kept it looking normal with the reflection being just one stop less than the reality. It’s your photograph, your story so tell it your way. Just realize that if you don’t do something, the water exposure will be better.

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