Final Embers – A Pastel Sunset at Mount Nebo

Final Embers - Pastel clouds drift by mount Nebo in Utah reflecting light onto the snow capped peaks.
Final Embers – Pastel clouds drift by mount Nebo in Utah reflecting light on to the snow capped peaks.

We camped for a few days up on the Nebo Loop, enjoying the late Fall color and the crisp sunny weather. On this particular night I had a plan for the mountain, but the sun did not do what I expected. I was about to give it up when I realized the clouds were reflecting the fading light back down onto the mountain from above.

I remember looking behind me, seeing the glow and thinking. That’s Ansel light!  Backing up the truck, I hopped out and quickly set up, prepped and made a long second exposure that would convey the pastel clouds whisking over the mountain tops. I got this one frame that conveyed just what I wanted, but that was all I needed. Soon after I made tthis image, the light faded away and the mountain slipped into night.

Gav

Release details: Prints Available.. Order Open Edition originals above.. Master prints and Signature Limited Editions are listed below and can be ordered by contacting gallery.

Released prints….

 

For Photographers. How it was made…

Technical Notes: Canon MK2, 50mm 1.4 @ f16, 72sec, ISO100, Induro Tripod, B&W #110 ND Filter
Processing:
Lightroom 4, Photoshop, Power Workflow processing tools.

A unique factor here is the dominant sky. I don’t do this often because it’s a compositional approach that needs a good reason. We’ll be talking about it in the new miniseries. The pastel clouds blowing past the mountain were just that reason and they lead us nicely to the glowing snow capped peaks of late Fall.

I did a few tests exposures, manually checked focus and then put on a 10X ND filter to darken and get that long exposure. I did a total of 3 long exposures, but this was the one that worked. The other two were a bit light due to me placing the value of the highlights up to around Zone 8. This is important to understand because sometimes it’s feels like a highlight should be high on the tone scale, but sometimes that perception makes things too light and washes out the entire scene. We need those rich shadows. More on all this in my EXposed Miniseries.

Post was clean and simple. I used a basic preset and some detail utilities from Power Workflow 4. In Photoshop I did detail work with burning and dodging, controlling the final tones. I didn’t need to do a lot. Proper exposure gave a beautiful image out of camera and a bit of refinement to the RAW file was all that was needed.

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About the Author

Glad you're here.

I'm from WA State USA and started studying photography in 97. I started work as a pro (using that word loosely because I sucked) using film at age 16. I learned fast but was not as easy to find training then. Sometimes I beat my head against the wall until I figured stuff out.

As digital dawned I went all in and got to study with masters like Ken Whitmire. In 09 I founded the Pro Photo Show podcast. I started promoting tone-focused editing. When Lightroom arrived, I started developing tools to make editing and workflow better.

20 years of study and photography around the country earned me a Master of Photography (M.Photog) from PPA. I got to see my workshops and tools featured in publications across the industry. Once I even won the prestigious HotOne award for my "EXposed" light and tone workshop.

Wanting something calmer, I moved to Mexico in 2017. It's a land of magical light. I'm here now exploring light and trying to master my weak areas. I make videos of that for my Youtube channel, sharing what I learn. I hope you'll stick around and be part of Light Hunters Tribe... Gavin

Gavin Seim

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