Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Moonrise over the Mountains

This moonrise capped an amazing day of photography on a recent trip.  We were shooting all day with subjects varied from glaciers to brown bears to crazy, trumpeting whales and everyone was tired.  Needless to say the moon rising over the high peaks and snow/ice fields invigorated our group and we shot a little bit longer.

I used a Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L mounted to a 7D body.  A Really Right Stuff PG-02 and Induro CT314 provided the stability.  Stability was incredibly important as I was on an anchored yacht in calm water but it was still  rocking as a result of six whales lunging, diving, and surging.  Turns out 200+ tons of whale makes a ripple or two. 

The dynamic range was fairly large and in order to get enough detail in the moon I sacrificed a little in the shadows.  I shot a bracketed sequence for HDR as well but did not prefer the image to the one you see above.  Since the shadows were a bit dark I used Photoshop to bring up the tonality in the lower portions of the image. 

When I want to brighten an area I often use a Curves adjustment layer.  Instead of moving the curve though, I switch the layer blend mode to Screen.  This brightens the image by approximately one stop.  I liked the result everywhere but the moon so I masked it out and kept the original tone.

Fiat Lux!

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