Saturday, May 4, 2013

Photo: Sunny Mountain Meadow

Sunny Mountain Meadow
Copyright Laura A Knauth, All rights reserved.
Please contact me for any usage or licensing options.
After sunrise in Mount Rainier National Park, light began streaking through the trees on the Skyline Loop trail and striping the meadows in these interesting patterns. The sky had been completely clear for days until just before this shot, when low fog suddenly rolled in and promptly covered the mountain top completely. At least I got off a few snaps of cloud effects before then. :)
Mount Rainier National Park
Paradise, WA
Technical Info
Canon 50d
18-200mm Lens, 18mm
f/11, 1/6s, ISO 100
Circular Polarizer
3Stop Rev ND Grad

The dreamy light right around sunrise or sunset usually means much less time spent repairing the dynamic range in post-processing. Sunny daylight is comparatively so high in contrast that the increased dynamic range starts wreaking havoc on digital images. (I don't ever remember having blown highlights in my slide film days. Sigh.)  I still have yet to streamline my post-processing workflow for smoothing out the harsh shadows and highlights in shots like this. My eyes think the scene is beautiful at the time, but I have to jump through hoops to recover any sense of the real life perspective. 

For this image, I adjusted the exposure of the RAW file to produce two images that I manually blended in Photoshop - one image with details in the shadow areas and one with details in the highlights. I remember I had to play around with this one quite a bit in order to balance the saturation appropriately across the shadows and highlights. (When you darken lighter areas, the colors become more saturated; and when you brighten shadow areas, they loose saturation.) This was such a fun scene though in real life that I had to make the effort. It's another world up there near the mountaintop! It felt like I was in some storybook alpine adventure. :)

by Laura A Knauth

No comments:

Comments Welcome!