Lurid Lemhi Sunset

Sunset over Bell Mountain in Idaho's Lemhi Range

The clouds put on a great show for me high on a ridge above Bell Mountain Canyon in eastern Idaho’s Lemhi Range. As obliging as they were in their colors, though, they were stubborn about lining up into a good composition with the peaks. But after a lot of blue skies this year, I was happy to work with that kind of light, challenging compositions or no. I remember consciously telling myself at the time not to shy away from lurid colors in the processed photos. If anything, I’d say my renditions here are a tad subdued compared the actual clouds that evening.

I’m vacillating as to which of these shots I prefer, and I’d be happy to hear folks’ opinions in the comments!

Update: I’ve reprocessed both of this and switched them out. These grand landscapes in dramatic light can be a bitch to process, and I realized I missed the mark pretty substantially on the first try. So make sure you refresh your browser if you’ve visited this post before. I’m also finding that they don’t show at their best on the white background and at reduced size, so I’d definitely recommend clicking through to the original versions on these. Again, I’d be glad to hear what people think, particularly readers with photo processing skills of their own.

Evening clouds above Bell Mountain Canyon, Lemhi Range, Idaho

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4 thoughts on “Lurid Lemhi Sunset

  1. Since I’m working from a laptop at the moment, I’ll refrain from commenting on post processing (they look good). I wanted to say I enjoy the composition from both images because of the feeling they give of being on/traveling over a high mountain ridge. Fun stuff.

    • Thanks Kent! High on a mountain ridge it definitely was…. I’ve been a little concerned that I lightened the foregrounds too much, but those alpine ridges do feel pretty luminous in the evenings, so that’s the interpretation I went with.

  2. I am with Kent…the processing looks good on both counts. I can sympathize about the difficulty in processing images with complex, dramatic light. My masking skills aren’t great, and a few images I’ve been working on lately require just that. Alas.

    I wouldn’t change the brightness in the FG on these images. I like that they seem a bit brighter than one would expect…it adds to the sense of drama. As for the clouds, I always feel lucky to get any at all. These ones seem to compliment the shape of the skyline nicely.

    • Thanks Greg, definitely helps to have another pair of eyes glance at these. Staring at the PSD file too long can start to feel positively hallucinogenic….

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