I’ve been out in the Rockies for a couple of weeks attending a photo summit of professional outdoor photographers and scoping out new places to make pictures. One thing I’m learning is how hard it is to be on the road, out creating images throughout the day, getting back to the hotel to download and edit metadata and keywording, finding something to eat and getting some sleep – and trying to keep up a blog. I’m really starting to appreciate the people who do this daily, keeping the content fresh and informative while doing the background work necessary to develop their postings.
So you’ll be seeing some of what I found these past weeks in coming blogs (some after the film get processed and scanned!) until I get myself caught up. Fortunately the places were very interesting and the weather really cooperated.
With the last being first, here’s an image of Nymph Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. The lake is a short hike up from Bear Lake and provides a nice subject to highlight the surrounding forest and reflect the higher peaks. There was a dusting of snow during the nights we were there and it really helped show off the texture of the mountains. My complaint traveling in most of the Rockies is all the mountains are tree covered – where are the granite ridges I have in my mind when thinking about this part of the country? This Park certainly delivers on that expectation.
As you can see, the early morning sun was not quite hitting the lake so most of the lower half of the image was considerably darker than the sky and mountains. This is a three-shot HDR image made using the new NIK HDR Efex Pro software, which I’m finding to be the easiest and most accurate of the different products I’ve tried over the past year or so. I ran the HDR TIFF through other NIK products to get more local contrast in the trees and make sure the foreground looked “normal” compared to the background. One comment I heard from a pro photographer at the summit was most HDR images he saw left the whole image equally exposed even though the actual scene probably varied from bright to dark. He recommended making sure your final HDR images were truly natural in this regard (unless you’re looking for a more stylistic appearance, of course).
More later from this Park and others encountered along the trip.