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on Apr 26, 2011 in Landscape Photography

Alabama Hills Morning to the West

Yeah, looking to the west when you’re in the Hills at sunrise is a wise thing! This was a spectacular morning showing off the reward of hitting the road at 4AM to be in place at the right time. The other trick to this whole venture is being in the right place as well. The Hills are pretty long and vary greatly from locale to locale. You might recognize this since it was the backdrop for IronMan. Nearly all of the Hills have been used by Hollywood since the 1930s.

The trick this morning was to get high! If you were to stand down on the ground or be close to the rock formations, you would not have seen the narrow band of light squeezing in under the cloud cover lighting up the slope of the Sierra. I ran from locale to locale chasing the band of light as it moved ending up finally on the tallest rock formation I could reach. It was just a glorious sunrise in the west!

The camera part was easy. WB-Cloudy A6, Vivid, EV-1.7 with a 2stop Split Grad. The shooting might be a challenge. It’s easy to get sucked into the color and focus in on just that band (as I did some of the time). But telling the story of the Hills was my goal for the morning which meant having them in the foreground. There were in shadow of course so in post they were lightened up a tad with a simple curve and camera warming filter. The one aspect of the photos you cannot plan for is the “rain” which never reached the ground. But it acted as a prism giving some images a little purplish tint to them that I really liked. I still shot with two bodies going wide to long as fast as the light changed and dictated it. And just like my experience at Mono Lake, I want to invite you the viewer into the morning and the experience. Hope I’m successful!

Photos captured by D3x, 14-24AFS / 24-70AFS on Lexar UDMA digital film