Sunday, September 18, 2016


The Great One, Denali (formerly Mt. McKinley), played peek-a-boo with us for hours. The low-hanging clouds stubbornly clung to the highest points, but the light played beautifully on the fresh snow. The clouds also created deep, dramatic shadows on the lower ridges.

Determining exposure in this situation can be difficult. With the light changing constantly, there are times when you just have to shoot, check the histogram frequently, and hope for the best. Since the dark areas in the foreground did not require much detail, and I wanted the snow-covered ridges to be the main subject, I made sure not to over-expose the whites. In addition, in post-production I used the Highlights slider in Lightroom to tone down the brightest whites so that all the texture in the whites showed up well.

I rely heavily on Lightroom, especially in high-contrast situations like this. I know that Lightroom can effectively tone down the bright areas, and bring out detail in dark areas as needed. I never use HDR, and rarely bracket exposures because I know what Lightroom can do. At the same time, I try to be very careful with the original exposure so that neither the lightest tones nor the darkest tones are too under- or over-exposed. The only way to make certain of that is to keep a careful eye on the histogram.

To help improve your photography and the look of your final images, the best gift you can give yourself is an in-depth Lightroom class. While online tutorials are good and can provide some basic information, and some one-day classes can help you get your feet wet, the best way to learn is to take a multi-day Lightroom workshop. It is the best way to learn the most effective and easiest ways to use Lightroom to catapult your images to a much higher level.

Special 2-day classes can be arranged for your camera club or photo group, and can be scheduled at the convenience of the group. Just get a group of at least 6 photographers (15 is the maximum size for Lightroom classes) and we'll get things scheduled. Email for more information.

1/5000, f/5.6, ISO 1600.  Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS lens set at 70mm on Canon 7D Mark II. Handheld, shot from a moving vehicle.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "Strive for continuous improvement, instead of perfection."  --Kim Collins

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