Image of the Week #10

  Posted in Uncategorized on

  by Chris

Here is a view of a storm approaching over Mount Massive. At this time, I was descending (thanks to Jesus!). This view is near  the treeline on the North Elbert Trail. Mount Massive looks less massive than it should due to use of wide angle focal length, 24mm Fullframe, my 5D (16mm on 7D). This is a rather processed image; I darkened the sky by about two stops, then added local contrast by way of the Tonal Contrast in Nik Colorefex.

One of the biggest struggles in mountain photography is dynamic range. Very frequently there is a 5+ stop dynamic range difference between parts of the image. I got off easy in this image. For many, a ND-Grad is necessary, or HDR. I prefer HDR, because I hate the way ND grads make the tops of mountains look weird (I can almost always tell when people use an nd grad!!!). Many do use them to very aesthetic effect, and their images look quite good (http://imagesofrmnp.com/). Still, even in many of the best pictures, I can still see the graduated density filter effect. HDR done badly, however, is a nightmarish monstrosity. Halos and posterization is MUCH MUCH MUCH worse than a bit of unnatural darkening of peaks. Good HDR is invisible, and subtle like the spices of a master chef.

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