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Michael Pancier
07-25-2010, 09:30 PM
Been to the hills and have finally returned.

I had only one opportunity to shoot a sunset in the park at Morton's Overlook as given the traveling distance, I was usually somewhere else and unable to make it back in time to the overlook. My last day there though did give me one of the most amazing sunsets I have ever seen as the clouds rolled into the valley below. Again, so crucial to have a telephoto with you to shoot a sunset in the Smokies & Blue Ridge Mountains. I don't think I used anything else out there.

This is a single exposure.

Camera Canon EOS 5D Mark II + Canon 70-200 2.8L USM IS
Exposure 0.25 sec (1/4)
Aperture /32.0
Focal Length 140 mm
ISO Speed 200

Roman Kurywczak
07-26-2010, 02:47 PM
Hey Michael,
The area around the sun appears a touch blown.....could it have been introduced in PP'ing? I love the layers and colors going through this as well as the subtle details in the mountains on the left.....tame those hot spots and this one will really shine!

Morkel Erasmus
07-26-2010, 02:59 PM
gorgeous mood, light and layers Michael...I love telephoto landscapes...do you recommend it in this location specifically because of the way the mountains are layered?

Arthur Morris
07-26-2010, 03:29 PM
Hey Michael, The area around the sun appears a touch blown.....could it have been introduced in PP'ing? I love the layers and colors going through this as well as the subtle details in the mountains on the left.....tame those hot spots and this one will really shine!

Roman, Not sure if you were being facetious with your "touch blown" comment. I brought the image into Photoshop and not only were the white areas totally blown out as I expected, but much of the sky was also shown as overexposed (most likely due to the richly saturated REDs... I do however like this as presented. Darkening the blacks and mid-tones might give this more punch. I love the atmospheric perspective and the fog.

Some questions for Roman:

1-Is it not acceptable to have the sun and the area around the sun blown out in images of this type? (Jim Brandenburg has been doing that effectively for a long time.)
2-Would HDR have helped? It might require -10 stops to save the detail in the sun...
3-Did you get my response to your e-mail?

Michael Pancier
07-26-2010, 04:25 PM
Artie, I did take multiple exposures as well and will try some HDR processing as well to compare. This image was taken with zero compensation. I did a quick HDR with a -2, 0, and +2 on this, and did not like the foreground detail sticking out. I found that keeping some minor detail but still keeping the foreground in shadow looked more natural.

Arthur Morris
07-26-2010, 05:43 PM
Thanks for the info Michael. What so you use for your HDRs?

Michael Pancier
07-26-2010, 05:56 PM
Thanks for the info Michael. What so you use for your HDRs?

I use photomatix pro but have tweaked the settings as such to try to get the images to look more natural. here for example is a 3 image HDR taken after sunrise from the Smokies. Here, I got the HDR to work as the cloud detail was only visible at -2Ev. BTW I used a G10 on this one on a tripod shooting Raw. I'm still tempted to go back to this one and perhaps tone down the foreground some more. not sure yet.

Roman Kurywczak
07-26-2010, 05:57 PM
Roman, Not sure if you were being facetious with your "touch blown" comment. I brought the image into Photoshop and not only were the white areas totally blown out as I expected, but much of the sky was also shown as overexposed (most likely due to the richly saturated REDs... I do however like this as presented. Darkening the blacks and mid-tones might give this more punch. I love the atmospheric perspective and the fog.

Some questions for Roman:

1-Is it not acceptable to have the sun and the area around the sun blown out in images of this type? (Jim Brandenburg has been doing that effectively for a long time.)
2-Would HDR have helped? It might require -10 stops to save the detail in the sun...
3-Did you get my response to your e-mail?

Hey Artie,
1. There's slightly blown....and toast.....as for Jim.....funny you mention that.....my image of bucks canyon was close to 7 stops.....I accept some blown highlights....after that, you don't use filters or do HDR correctly. Read into that what you want. I didn't feel the need to tell Michael any of that....He's been posting here long enough to get my drift......let's just say we have different styles.
2. Probably yes.....but since I don''t do them....I'd filter stack. I'm an in camera kind of guy.
3. Yes

Fabs Forns
07-26-2010, 10:08 PM
I think making the mountains a little darker would bring more drama to this one. As mentioned, sky a bit blown.

Julie Brown
07-26-2010, 11:27 PM
I like the colors and layers with the fog. The sky is intense, but it works for me.

Dave Mills
07-27-2010, 08:46 AM
Hi, coming late to the party. I have not taken an HDR yet but primarily use filters to balance my exposure(GND's) Haven't been on a landscape shoot in awhile but will try it in the future.
I've been to Morton's Overlook a number of times but was never lucky enough to get a good sunset. Compositionally the image is well handled but would of preferred the mist line a bit more to the left(not centered).
Generally what makes the image is the misty,layered mountains along with a colored sky. IMO the sky (as mentioned) is blown and competes strongly with the balance of the image drawing the eye to that area. Would have preferred the area
to be more muted...