My last post was a photo of Mount Rainier taken later in the same evening as this photograph. The light at sunset on this particular day was a bit uneven, and while the lenticular cloud seen here was being lit nicely by the last light of the setting sun, the lower elevations of the mountain were blocked by coastal clouds. (Later, this would reverse and the lower elevations lit up while the summit was in shadow).
As I mentioned in my previous post, the air was quite hazy on this particular day, and the resultant photographs all suffered from lower contrast than I'd like to see. In post-production I attempted to improve the contrast to reveal a little more of the detail that was really there - particularly in the glaciers (which I think are just amazing to see on a warm August evening). The original JPG was a fairly flat gray. For some reason I also particularly struggled with the noise from my D90 in this photo (and some of my more recent images as well). As much as I love the D90, the D40 I shot with previously seemed to provide more consistently low-noise (low ISO) images - it's a difficult trade off. Anyhow, as a result I had to apply appreciable noise reduction, which may have also robbed some detail. All together, this was a surprisingly difficult image to prepare, for what is perhaps not the most dramatic lenticular or alpenglow you'll find with Mount Rainier. Putting so much work into pulling out the underlying image forces me to second guess many of those 'manipulations' - my intention is to prepare an accurate sense of the scene. If nothing else, it does provide a sense of context for the previous image and I think still works. The next time I see a lenticular cloud forming at Mount Rainier I'll do my best to capture it again.
Nikon D90 | Nikon 18-200VR@150mm | f/8 | 1/100s | ISO200 | Handheld
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