09_10_16 Featured Arkansas Landscape Photography–Sunset from Sam’s Throne
Taken with a Pentax K1 in three vertical segments of 4 exposures each, LR used for HDR conversion to 3 vertical segemnts, Stitched in Lightroom into single 3 part panorama, ISO 100, F11 Pentax 15-30mm Lens @ 17mm.
In the late summertime of September, the Arkansas skies can surprise you. Many times you will find a pure blue sky about 1 hour before sunset, only to see some light cloud cover roll right as the sun sets. On this evening, I was able to catch some of this at Sam’s Throne. I had hoped to have clear skies as I was going to stay for a while after dark and work the Milky Way with the Pentax Astrotracer feature, but the sunset was a added bonus for sure.
Sam’s Throne is one of the premier climbing spots in Arkansas due to the bluffs that run for over 1 mile. The rock is a type of sand stone and and during the sunset will take on an orange color. The rocks are also covered with a bright orange lichen, one that I have really only found in this part of Arkansas. So at the times of bright and intense light, the rock of the bluffs can really stand out. I like to work from a spot where you can catch both the true throne (the smaller peak in the center of the image) and pick up the bluff line. During the late summertime the sun will set just off the bluff through the trees and can add a wonderful effect as it will accent the pines at the top of the bluff line.
This photograph, is quite a composition as it was taken in 12 frames, 4 from each station in a short panorama. I then blended each segment with Lightroom’s HDR tool into a 3 dng files, that were then combined into a 3 part panorama. This allowed me to capture both the brightest highlights in the shot and keep the noise out of my shadows. The green of the trees was just perfect on this evening, just a bit of yellow starting to show up in the tops. There were a few trees already starting to go into a full color display, but these were more towards the top of the bluff.
You can pick any of hundreds of spots to work at Sam’s. In this shot, you can see on the left side the same bluff line as it has worked around the hillside. I sometimes like to work from that spot also as you can still capture the sunset and you have a different perspective of Sam’s.
It takes about 2.5 hours to get to this part of Arkansas from Little Rock, and the drive north from Russellville is well worth it, especially in the Spring and Fall when the trees take on very unique colors.