Taken with a Nikon D800e, Nikon 14-24 @ 14mm F 8, ISO 100, exposure bracketed in 3 frames and worked up in Lightroom with Topaz Clarity
The evening I took this, I have hoped for a bit more cloud cover, but the spring colors were out in full so I went ahead and worked up the shot. This was taken from one of my all time favorite spots over looking Pinnacle mountain. Here you are looking due west, so depending on the time of year, you can sometimes catch the sun setting right on top of Pinnacle. As I recall the best times for this are in late March and September, but it’s been a long time since I went after that shot.
Even with Nikon I went ahead and bracketed this shot, I feel many times that in protecting the shadows, I will blow out the highlights and they will never be recoverable. I worked this shot up once before a couple of years ago, but never got it where I liked it. Now with the HDR feature within Lightroom, I went back to the raw files and worked them up again. This time I got much better results and then worked on the file just a bit in Topaz Clarity. I am not sure why the sky went black at the top, but that is just how it worked out, I kinda of like it!
The HDR feature in LR has it’s problems, but most of the time I can do what I want and get the effects I am looking for so much easier than any other HDR tool I have ever used.
The spring colors in Arkansas just looked great on this evening so it all came together for me.
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Taken with a Nikon D810 and 14-24 Lens @ 14mm and F 5.6 ISO 250 exposure bracketed in 3 frames
On Mt Magazine, the view in late October back to the east can provide some amazing sunrises. The sun will rise right out in the center of the frame and when you have clouds the light can be fantastic. In this shot, I was on the 3rd floor of the lodge, but you can work from any floor. All the rooms on the lodge open out to the back side and have a southward facing view. Mt Magazine is the “border” of the end of the Ozark mountains, as all the mountains to the south are in the Ouachita Mountains. So you get a excellent view of the beginning of the Ouachita chain that runs from here to the southwest corner of Arkansas. In the view looking back to the east, you can see Flatside Pinnacle way off in the distance also. Flatside is 1,500 feet tall and is a great photographic area also.
Later in the spring and summer the sun will move back to the left and will rise out of view, so the best times to catch a sunrise, is October through early February. In 2015, the fall colors in Arkansas sucked, yes, they were that back. Mt Magazine tends to have a pretty good display even in the years like 2015 and I guess this is due to micro climate that Mt Magazine has, being 2,700 feet tall. But what made this shot were the clouds that came across the sky right as the sun came up. The sun is in the dead center of this shot, but is filtered by the band of clouds that are right on the horizon, but these same clouds allowed the light to reflect upwards and just popped the clouds towards the top of the frame.
I used ISO 250 on this shot as there was considerable wind blowing I wanted to start my exposure stack with a higher shutter speed. The Nikon D810 does a good job here, not as well as it would have at base ISO of 64, but I was still able to stop the motion of the trees and get the shot. The camera was mounted to tripod so alignment was not an issue. I used the HDR feature of Adobe Lightroom to merge the 3 exposures and Lightroom did a very good job on this shot. In this shot you can see the rock bluffs of Mt Magazine and then one row of the cabins that can be rented. There is really no way to get this shot without also getting the cabins in the view, so I just include them. Off in the distance you can see a couple of the rolling ridges that create the Ouachita mountains.