Monday, June 16, 2008

Mount Evans' Bristle Cone Pines

On the first morning of the NANPA Regional Event in Colorado, my group headed up to the Mount Goliath Natural Area. We left a little after 4:30 with the intent of getting there at sunrise. The view to the east of the mountain ranges and foothills was beautiful.

Sometimes when I am at a new location, I enjoy soaking up the surroundings and figuring out what will catch my attention. I was also going a little slow as this was my first day at high elevation. It was so much fun watching all the photographers as they worked their way through the bristlecone forest, but it also made getting a composition without someone in it a little difficult. I tried some people shots, but they did not come out as well as I would have liked.

These two are my "best" of the day. I shot for high dynamic range (HDR) as the things that caught my eye seemed to be shooting into the sun. The goal of HDR is to create an image that is more as the human eye sees it. Both digital and film cameras have a limit to how much they can capture between bright and shadowed areas. Film actually has a deeper range than digital. But with photoshop and other programs, I can shoot several exposures of a scene and then combine them. While there are programs that automate this process, I do my HDR manually using layers and layer masks in photoshop. Being a control freak, this allows me to choose what I want to leave as a silhouette and where I want to bring detail out of the shadows.

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