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Folks, I am the photographer in question. Found this link via TinEye because the photo has been stolen so much over the last 2 weeks. I love the strong opinions over the photo, and don’t mind if folks don’t like it. Some of you mentioned Ansel, my inspiration was indeed his photo. Every landscape guy has this location on his bucket list. Like Ansel, I’ve reprocessed this original image several times. (He produced almost a dozen different processed & printed versions of his famous “Moonrise over Hernandez” for example, over the years darkening the sky until it was black. You can see two different processed versions of the same scene taken the same morning here https://www.flickr.com/photos/subcmdr/8640485901/in/set-72157633220204861 and here https://www.flickr.com/photos/subcmdr/8667826793/in/set-72157633220204861
Everyone likes a different version of the photo. That’s the great thing about this. Different tastes, different likes. But the one you linked to here is by far the most popular (and the most stolen).
But to clear up a few misconceptions:
1. It’s not HDR. Single exposure, but with a very bid Nikon D800 dynamic range. If I did this HDR the bright lit area behind the mountains would not have been so blown out.
2. It’s not tone-mapped. Although you can tone-map a single image, this one is not.
3. I did dodge and burn using Photoshop, just like Ansel would have done in the darkroom, to highlight areas where I wanted to draw the eye. Trying to learn from the master.
4. I did increase color saturation. Is it over-saturated? That’s a matter of opinion, but based on the fact it’s the most popular photo I’ve ever taken, I’m guessing most people like the outcome.
5. I was going for a specific artistic effect I’ve never done before. I’m more. Just trying to broaden the portfolio.
That’s it. If you love it, great. If you hate it, that’s OK too. But happy you’re talking about it.