It was mid-morning and I was out site seeing near the river in the southwest part of Big Bend National Park when I noticed that with the morning haze, the mountain appeared as layers in the distance. I had to try to shoot a photograph or two of this so I headed for an overlook to take the entire scene in.
This was such a wide shot and the sun was not very high in the sky, so I had to make this a long panorama. This allowed me to get most of the mountains in the shot and keep the sun above the scene. Below is a panorama of 9 images shot at 85mm focal length (click to enlarge).
In post I brought up the shadows and boosted the contrast. I experimented with leaving the foreground very dark so that visual focus concentrates on the layers of mountain ranges in the haze (see below). This seems a bit more abstract and I am kind of undecided on what I like best. What are your thoughts?
I also was not certain whether or not the larger mountain to the right belonged in my shot. It does have a lot of visual weight and I thought that it might distract from the rest of the scene. So, I took some images at 120mm focal length to stitch in which I could get more of the distant mountains in the shot and exclude the big foreground mountain to the right.
I also did a slight vertical transform in LightRoom to exaggerate the mountains as the mountains are the point of the image.
The sky was washed out with haze and light from the morning sun such that I really didn’t need to do much to the colors. The distant scene was almost black and white to begin with. I did reduce saturation on the earth tones in the foreground.
As an aside, the high cliff toward the center of the pano above is the South Rim. I hiked up to and around the South Rim last November. It was a fun hike. Below is a photo shot from up on that trail. You can see more on my original blog post.
Being from the coast of Texas, with the marsh lands and pine forests, the desert landscape is kind foreign to me. I find it fascinating that the tough little plants and animals can thrive out here in what seems to be a harsh environment. The desert does provide the opportunity for some beautiful landscape photography though.
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