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Morning Storm Light, Black Point, Mono Lake

Posted by
Don Smith (California, United States) on 22 October 2010 in Landscape & Rural.

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Magical light comes in many forms. But for me, there always seems to be something a bit special when either a clearing or approaching storm is timed with either dawn or dusk light as the sky seems to come alive with a beautiful luminous glow.

This frame was the conclusion to one such magical location shoot along the north shore of Mono Lake looking south towards the tiny town of Lee Vining and Mt. Dana and Mt. Gibb along the crest of the rugged Sierra crest.

I was with a group of workshop students attending Gary Hart's eastern Sierra fall workshop. We had perhaps one of the best dawn light shows that I can ever remember and as the sun began to crest the horizon, it set these clouds on fire.

The photography was rather straightforward; all I did was seek a small patch of water in front of the lake to catch the bulk of the reflection. I felt this little pool complimented the shape of the lake, mountains and clouds. If I recall correctly, I used a Singh-Ray 3-stop soft edge graduated neutral density filter to hold back the light on the clouds and mountains and allow the the foreground the proper exposure.

Those not accustomed to the vibrant quality of mountain light may accuse me of enhancing this color in Photoshop, but I assure you , the color was natural. I have 12 other workshop students who can attest to this!

NOTE: I am currently in Yosemite helping Gary with his fall Yosemite workshop and will be unable to respond to your comments. I will however be able to read them so I look forward to hearing from you!

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III 4/5 seconds F/16.0 ISO 400 78 mm

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