130825-James Staddon_2519 L

Stormy Mountain Majesty
Denali National Park, Alaska
Downloadable as a free desktop wallpaper for Lenspiration subscribers

 

This is what sunset looked like at 9:30pm on that beautiful, Alaskan summer evening. “Pretty late, for a sunset,” I thought. And it really wasn’t actually dark till after 11.

Sunsets are amazing in northern climates! The beautiful light of golden “hour” lasts for so long.

This particular point at the very end of the Denali Highway (or, at least as far as one can drive in their own vehicle)  was a perfect spot to be during this elongated golden hour. We hadn’t really planned it that way; the decision to drive all the way up to Denali from Anchorage had been made that morning, I think. But the family I was staying with was so excited about showing me their beautiful state that they went way out of their way, literally, to show me some of the best places they knew of for photography.

We stopped countless times as we drove north on the George Parks Highway and especially took our time after entering Denali National Park. This was only happening once! And since we hadn’t done much planning ahead of time, it was only God who could have brought us to good vantage points where the golden light and sunset could be seen in picturesque conjunction over the awesome landscape around us.

In the moment, due to the distance of the mountains and the resulting atmosphere, I wasn’t sure if any of my pictures were actually turning out.  Here’s a before/after comparison between the RAW file and the edited file:

130825-James Staddon_2519 before-after

Big difference!

The way I normally edit pictures didn’t work on this shot. It required doing things quite a bit differently.

PRO members can view this extended Behind the Shot: Stormy Mountain Majesty article to see exactly what I did in post processing to effectively bring out the mood I was looking for in the final shot.

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