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Fallen Jeffrey Pine

Posted by
Don Smith (California, United States) on 11 November 2008 in Landscape & Rural.

Yosemite's Sentinnel Dome has long been a favorite of mine for dramatic sunrises and sunsets. Atop the dome, one finds this fallen jeffrey pine (some say it was pulled over, others say it toppled during a storm). Nonetheless, it has become a staple subject for many a photographer over the years. On this particular evening, I noticed a warm soft light on the famed pine after the sun had set; it was as if the pine was glowing. The only way to truly capture it combined with the dusk-colored sky was to try an HDR (High Dynamic Range). I bracketed 8 exposures in one-stop increments using my shutter and combinded the images in Photomatix Pro 3.1 software using the Batch Processing command. I then tonemapped the image and imported it into Adobe Camera Raw for some global corrections. I finally opened the image into Photoshop CS3, made a duplicate layer, set the blend mode to multiply, then reduced the opacity to balance the sky. I added a mask and simply painted out the foreground to assume its original exposure. Sounds complicated but it is actually quite easy once you learn the process. I teach this and more during my workshops. If you would like to join me, please visit my website at and click on the Workshop link. If you would like to purchase a copy of Photomatix Pro, please e-mal me and I will provide you with my code which will save you 20% off the purchase price!

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III F/16.0 ISO 200 23 mm

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