Saturday, January 7, 2012

El Capitan sunset

During the few days over Christmas I spent with my family in Yosemite, we had just gorgeous weather every day. Unfortunately for photography that is not ideal. There also was not a flake of snow in sight. Nevertheless I got some nice images out of the trip. The below is a sunset image looking at El Capitan and Bridal Veil falls. I believe this view is called "Gates of the Valley". When I got here in the evening before sunset it looked like nothing was going to happen as some high clouds were turning everything dull and gray. However, for two minutes or so right at sunset, the sun peeked below those clouds. I shot of a few guide images using my Tokina 11-16mm and then created a composite using my nodal ninja rotator and a 35 mm lens. The light had already faded before I was able to change my setup to get a high res image, so the red is more soft than it was in the guide images and the contrast lower. Also in this image, the red is like a little band of light instead of the entire top of the rock. I like it this way.
Sunset on El Capitan
El Capitan sunset. Buy a print. Google+ post. Flickr image.
High resolution composite stitched from 9 images from a Nikon D300. Nikkor 35 mm f1.8 DX at f/11, 0.5s, ISO 200. 1 stop grad ND applied in software.

As a comparison, here is a guide image that I shot right before the high resolution composite above.

Red white and blue
Red, White, and Blue. Buy a print.
Nikon D300. Tokina 11-16 mm f2.8 at 14 mm, f/11, 0.6s, ISO 200. 2 stop graduated ND.

The red was much brighter here than in the high resolution image taken a minute later or so. A nice example of how much timing matters in landscape photography.

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