Valley View in Black & White

One of the most amazing things about Yosemite is how easy it is to get a great shot. Literally… for this one, walked from the car about 20 feet, set up on the banks of the Merced River, took a 4 frame HDR panorama consisting of about 20 images in total… folded up the tripod and went back to the lodge to enjoy a warm hot cocoa… 🙂

Well, everything but the warm hot cocoa was right, I stood around and shot a few more hundred frames… something I’m a bit paranoid about doing, since you never know when I might make it back, although I am already turning the pages of the calendar forward to see when my feet can land in Yosemite again. Its really that magical.

Like I said, 4 frame pano, set to 5 bracketed exposures each… 20 total images. Brought into Photomatix Pro 4, cleaned it up in Photoshop and then finished it using NIK’s Silver Efex Pro. The longest part of the process is waiting for those sets of 5 to be “churned out” in the Photomatix “Matrix” (hmmm… maybe a recommendation for the next upgrade).

As with some of the other shots from Yosemite, I wish the sky had a bit more “drama”.. some angry birds, errr, I mean clouds would have been nice… but, when you are here, you get what you get and don’t get upset. After all, half the fun of shooting landscapes is showing up, rolling the bones, and seeing where they land.


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