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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 http://www.donsmithphotography.com 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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