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.
02/11/16 Featured Arkansas Landscape Photography–Wintertime Vista from the summit of Pinnacle Mountain
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Taken with a Canon 5d MKII, Canon 24-70 lens, @ 24mm and F 8 ISO 100 with a Circular Polarizer, Panorama taken in multiple vertical stitches
One of the most noticeable landmarks in Pulaski County, Arkansas is Pinnacle Mountain. The mountain is approximately 550 feet tall and has a commanding view of both Little Rock and the eastern approaches to the Ouachita Mountains. In fact the Ouchita trail starts at the Pinnacle Mountain Visitor center which is not far at all from the base of Pinnacle.
There are many trails up to the summit of Pinnacle, but the most common is the trail that goes up the west face. Here you get a great view of the slate rock that makes up most of the mountain and you can get some great views of the surrounding countryside.
This shot was taken after a heavy snow fall in February of 2009, and I was very lucky to catch the mountain right after the skies cleared. There was no one else there so the snow was totally undisturbed. My goal on this day was to get about 1/2 way up the mountain where the hard rock face starts to show up. The pitch of the climb can be upwards of 30 degrees, maybe a bit more and on a normal day this is not a problem. But on a snowy day things were a bit more difficult. Once on the summit I realized that the view was amazing and I wanted to take some panoramas. I did not have my tripod, but just shot away in multiple vertical hand held series and then stitched the images together later on with Photoshop. Now, I would most likely want to use Lightroom as it offers a lot more possibilities and power. But for this shot Photoshop was able to get the job done.
There was no wind and the snow was perfect in that everything was nicely coated. I did use a polarizer on the shots and wondered if I would be able to get an even sky but overall I like what I was able to produce. Pinnacle mountain is in western Pulaski county, in Arkansas and is well worth a hike if you have the time.
Taken with a Canon 1D MK IV, Canon 24-70 Lens @F11, iso 250, Multiple exposure technique used to create photo. In the summer months it’s often very easy to catch a late afternoon thunderstorm rolling in behind Pinnacle mountain. On this evening the light had started out with just a bright sun with very few clouds, but as the evening approached, bank of thunderheads rolled in to the left of Pinnacle. The wind seemed to die down quite a bit, so since I was using older Canon equipment with a very limited dynamic range, I went ahead and shot a 4 shot bracketed exposure. I was able to catch the sun just as it was starting to roll down behind the ridge behind Pinnacle. The contrast between the dark thunderhead and the high cirrus clouds was impressive and I stayed around for as long as could before it got too dark.
Taken with a Nikon D800, Nikon 14-24 lens @ 18mm iso 100 with no filters. One spot I never get tired of visiting is Pinnacle Mountain. There is always a shot to be taken, either on the climb up or in driving around the mountain. To many a 500 foot tall peak is not a mountain, but Arkansas it does seem to quality since the tallest spot in the state is only 2700 feet, the summit of Mt. Magazine. Arkansas will usually get one or two snows that will dust the higher spots. Pinnacle can be climbed from pretty much any side but most prefer to come up from the west side (the opposite from this picture), the east side which this image shows is a bit more challenging and is more of a rock hop to the summit. I like to try to catch a reflection shot of Pinnacle when I feel the conditions are right. On this morning I had just a bit of breeze but I was still able to get a close to mirror reflection. The pond is a small catchment on the back side of the mountain.
Taken with a Canon 5D MKII with a 16-35mm lens @ F4.5 for approximately 4o minutes. Area 51, in Little Rock, not out in the desert. Yes, Arkansas has it’s are 51! It’s a great spot to view Pinnacle mountain as there is big field in front of the mountain and the area 51 sign just adds to the effect of the shot. This is a harder spot to work than one might think as the constant stream of cars coming by. The headlights can really blow out a stacked exposure and to get this shot I had to work in the foreground from several different image since the lights were totally blowing out the image. I liked the way the sky came out, with a amber color towards the horizon and then a nice fade into a deep blue. I was barely able to catch the north star in the upper left corner. I was working against a very bright moon but I was able to finally get into a spot where I could use the large tree on the right to block most of the moonlight. I love this spot and go out to it many time during the year.
07/23/12 Featured Arkansas Photography–Lightening Strike over Pinnacle Mountian in Pulaski County Arkansas
Taken with a Canon 5D MKII, Canon 24-70 Lens at 24mm, F2.8, Bulb exposure, tripod mounted camera. This image will be added to my favorites, mainly because of just how hard it was to take. I had been photographing the sunset from the other side of Pinnacle mountain when this storm started to blow in. The early lightening drove me off and I headed around to the west side hoping to get a shot of lightening over the mountain. By the time I made it over, the rain was starting to fall and lightening was flying all through the air. At first I thought I could stand outside my car, with my tripod and take the shot, but soon I started to notice my arm hairs standing up so I choose to move back to my car. I put the tripod outside the car window and then setup my remote release so that I could hit the shutter when I first started to see lightening out of the corner of my eye. I just set the lens to infinity and F2.8 hoping to get the most light as possible. I captured this shot on the 3rd attempt. What amazed me was the different colors of blues that were in the sky as the lightening went off. The orange color off to the left of the image I didn’t notice until I looked at the shot.
Canon 5D MKII, Lens Canon 16-35 @ F4.5, Iso 250, Exposure approx 45 sec (single image). This image was taken in a series of photographs in a process called stacking. This is one method working night scenes where you are trying to capture star trails. I have found this to be the best method when working with the moon. The moon will provide excellent illumination to the extent that you can get a scene that looks almost like daylight except for the color of the sky. The sky will take on a deep blue color, the blue is very dependent on both the amount of time you expose each stack and the amount of moonlight/position of the moon in the sky. I have found that this type of photography, even though it takes a lot of processing in the background is my favorite way to capture a night sky.
Image taken with a Canon 1ds MKII, Canon 24-70 F2.8 @ F11, ISO 100, 5 shot combination for exposure. Back in 2009, which seems to long ago to remember, we were having almost nightly thunderstorms in July. I can only hope that Arkansas gets some this type of weather soon in 2012. We are about as dry as I can remember for this time of year and soon you will start to see tree going into stress, then dropping leaves. The area around Pinnacle State Park is photographers paradise in that there are some many great vistas to work from. One of mine is the view directly to the west from the summit of the quarry ridge at the Pinnacle State Park visitors center. Here you get an unobstructed view of the summit of Pinnacle mountain and can often catch an evening storm coming in from the west. This sunset was taken as 5 separate exposures then blended together to get the final image.
Taken with a Canon 5D MKII, 70-300 Lens, ISO 100 F8 at a shutter speed of 1/400. There are times that you just get lucky!. While I was working this great sunset, I happend to catch this lone para-glider working around the summit of Pinnacle. For the shot I had to hand hold my Canon 5D MKII with a 70-300 lens since the light was fading too fast to switch over to my tripod. The pilot made only about 2 passes and I was able to capture him on the 2nd pass. The sun lit the plane up perfectly.