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orange sunlight on a fluted ridgeline

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orange sunlight on a fluted ridgeline

Postby SSSdave » Sat Jul 14, 2007 2:26 pm

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This unique unnamed fluted granite ridgeline doesn't get earliest red phase sunrise light due to being blocked a wee bit to the east but the orange phase sunrise light tends to be over a nicely clean expanse of air. Reminds one of Feather Peak's similar ridgeline from the west. A brief sumping nightflow shimmering the water delayed my actuation of the shutter release for a couple minutes so captured a more gold phase than the earlier deeper orange light. 4x5 Provia 100F 90mm Caltar EV12.5 1/8 second f/27.

From last Sunday morning in Sequoia National Park after lugging all my painfully heavy gear up 7000 feet plus during a 5-day backpack, my sixth this summer. Also captured some other nice images of foxtail pines from this locale.
...David



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Postby Hikin Mike » Sat Jul 14, 2007 5:35 pm

Definitely worth it, Dave! Well done!
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Postby mountaineer » Sat Jul 14, 2007 7:40 pm

That is nice! How did you get the exposure so even? Any grad ND's used?
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Postby Ciocc » Sat Jul 14, 2007 9:47 pm

Dave, I'm continually impressed with your physical ability to carry that LF gear into the mountains, your well composed images, meticulous attention to detail and your love of the mountains which clearly shows in your writing and images.

On another note, if you had to choose between a 75mm OR a 90mm lens to carry into the mountains, which would you choose from a usefulness point of view?
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Postby SSSdave » Sun Jul 15, 2007 11:53 am

mountaineer, I do have a Hi-Tech 0.9 GND filter in my pack now but have not used it enough to be comfortable gambling with exposing important fleeting images. Your assessment of the even-ness of the image reflects some concern with potentially dim areas below the waterline. A reflection will be a bit darker and more saturated than the subject above water as one can see here. If I had significant shadowed land areas, a GND filter may have had a use but reflections themselves don't need a GND. In fact one often sees novice photographers lake reflections where they have used a GND with the reflection unnaturally brighter than the subject. Also effecting the reflection is the darkness of the water. Here the bottom is of course quite dark due to a very low sun angle and the fact the near water was shadowed by a minor slope behind this position. Sun entered through the unblocked outlet to the sunny rock islands off to the right.

There are a modest number of similar sunrise light situations with lakes in the High Sierra and given some basic knowledge of where the sun rises daily one can simply survey topographic maps for good prospects. Many of such lakes and ponds are of course unnamed but as any experienced Sierra cross country traveler knows, many of our most beautiful alpine lakes are nameless. The better for we explorers to amuse ourselves applying our own names. In 1994 we named this Curtain Lake and the summit Curtain Peak since the fluted wall appears like a pleated curtain.

Ciocc, I would recommend the 90mm which corresponds to a 28mm lens in 35mm SLR formats. The 75mm would certainly be more useful in situations where vertical relief is much more abrupt like at El Capitan Meadows but generally one will find many more mountain landscapes where the less wide 90mm works better. Of course as one goes more wide, background elements as peaks become less prominent with less detail. So having both lenses back home in one's gear collection is certainly the better situation of choice though given the tradeoffs with weight, one will find the 90mm a better choice in one's pack for most destinations.

There is a huge difference in discomfort as pack weight increases beyond a familiar level. For instance for someone used to carrying a 45 pound pack, adding 20 pounds will relatively feel much worse than adding 10 even though it is just a 2:1 ratio. My weakest body parts are the bottom of my feet because they are apt to get sore especially when travelling downhill on rocky trails with lots of step drops. Although I weigh just 133#, my pack would be miserable even for much larger and stronger guys if they were not used to such loads because the main pain is where the waist belt and shoulder straps bear against one's body and the high forces to one's joints and feet. One needs to become gradually used to such loads over multiple trips.

This week one of my brothers and I will be climbing up over 4000 feet into Granite Park. Another good location for sunrise, dawn, and pink night shadow lake reflections if one has done their homework on locations. We expect to eat some tasty trout too.
...David
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Postby madeintahoe » Sun Jul 15, 2007 2:35 pm

David...I love the color..Looks like a very beautiful spot to be at!
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Postby copeg » Mon Jul 16, 2007 7:17 am

That is such a gorgeous shot David. I just stared at it for quite a while. There is a little bit of a green hue on my monitor seen near the bottom which I'm guessing might be from the slide to screen transition (?).

And you're sixth trip this summer - I'm so jealous!
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Postby SSSdave » Mon Jul 16, 2007 5:40 pm

That night I had put my OR Basic Bivy on a small granite sand flat between some low boulders. It was near a few foxtail pines that were not in the way of my view south to watch the Milky Way. It was a clear silent night with the fat sliver of a moon coming up late in the wee hours. Although a few mosquitoes were still out at dusk, within an hour they had all retired to their leafy safety down canyon so I didn't bother with my bivy netting. And I was far too alpine to expect seeing a bear so slept soundly.

I woke up that morning about 4:30am. Although I don't have an alarm clock or watch alarm, most mornings I am always rather certain to wake up as soon as the first birds start chirping which is usually when the eastern horizon just begins to brighten a good hour before astronomical sunrise. Thus grope about for my PT Yukon HL led headlamp and eyeglasses. The second thing I did was put my wool sock, fleece jacket, and Levi's on in order to get those clothes warm inside my sleeping bag before I'd have to face the cool morning. However I noticed it wasn't too cool maybe the high 40s. Next I started heating some water boiling on my new Whisperlite which roars like a blast furnace so that took just a couple minutes. I tossed in a package of Nestlies chocolate milk mix.

By 4:50am I had downed that and was feeling excited about the approaching day. Since I was camped in the area I would be shooting in the morning, I left my view camera atop the big Gitzo tripod overnight. I was glad the air was relatively calm though expected a slight sumping night breeze off the peak channeling across the lake and down the canyon. So about 5am I tossed in a Ziplock full of granola and wandered over to the nearby lake outlet.

I'd sized up the outlet bay with its rocks sticking out of the water the day before but expected to refine that while actually standing there with dawn rising. Of course I move about trying to isolate each silhouetted element so the overall geometry appears most pleasing. Its such a pleasure to be a photographer experiencing something like this and then a few days later get to see the results on a big transparency. I've seen many many dawns over the years and there is certainly a lot of variation from day to day in the intensity of the various sky hues even in what seems are identical clear conditions. This morning I thought the purple phase was a bit weak. With my 150mm Nikkor lens on and a Fuji Provia 100F Quickload shoved in front of my ground glass, I waited hoping it might strengthen but at one point just actuated the shutter release cable below when I felt the peak color would begin to wane. Although the below image is rather nice, I don't expect to market it because when I put such an image on my web page index it has to be exceptional instead of simply good. In Photoshop I could easily jack up the saturation so the yellow and purple hues looked very impressive but in my body of work per my honest style, I never do that. I know I'll get a better image soon because I'm out in the high country like this alot. By the way the following exposure was the one above maybe a half hour later after the sun rose.

Image
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Postby ifernau » Mon Jul 16, 2007 6:30 pm

Hey Dave,
gorgeous images. I am glad you are getting out this much, I have been stuck in the Bay Area and just as I planned a trip to Crater Lake, my car blew the head gasket......
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Postby Windwalker » Sat Jul 21, 2007 8:41 pm

Beautiful David! Makes me want to go for a hike!!!
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