jasonjhatfield
jasonjhatfield

Wilkerson Pass Sunset



The last stop of my last fall trip for the season. I was rewarded with a brilliant sunset and some great color in the leaves. This amazing pass has views of m...
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The last stop of my last fall trip for the season. I was rewarded with a brilliant sunset and some great color in the leaves. This amazing pass has views of multiple fourteeners and a large part of South Park.
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Awards

Contest Finalist in Fabulous Foliage Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in From Afar: Landscapes Photo Contest
Peer Award
Superb Composition
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Love it
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Absolute Masterpiece
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Top Choice
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Magnificent Capture
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Superior Skill
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Outstanding Creativity
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All Star
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Genius
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Emotions

Impressed
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Top ClassTM

Fall 2016 Photo ContestTop 10 class
Fall 2016 Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Fabulous Foliage Photo ContestTop 10 class
Fabulous Foliage Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
The Golden Moment Photo ContestTop 10 class
The Golden Moment Photo ContestTop 10 class week 3
In Front Of The Sun Photo ContestTop 10 class
In Front Of The Sun Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Beautiful Trees Photo ContestTop 30 class
Beautiful Trees Photo ContestTop 30 class week 3
Beautiful Trees Photo ContestTop 10 class week 2
Colorful Leaves Photo ContestTop 10 class
Beautiful Trees Photo ContestTop 30 class week 1
Colorful Leaves Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
From Afar: Landscapes Photo ContestTop 10 class
Landscapes 101 Photo ContestTop 20 class
Landscapes 101 Photo ContestTop 30 class week 1
Sunrises vs Sunsets Photo ContestTop 30 class week 1
Photographer Of The Month Photo Contest Vol 2Top 20 class

Categories



Behind The Lens

Location
I captured this image from the top of Wilkerson Pass on the way to Colorado Springs.
Time
While it wasn't a planned location, I arrived at the pass in the afternoon and stuck around until sunset at 6:30. I was ready to get home after traveling but it was definitely worth the extra time.
Lighting
Typically in the mountains, I'm shooting in the opposite direction of the sun to capture that last light on the peaks. I ended up doing the opposite here because of when I arrived and how the scene was laid out. The clouds perfectly reflected the glowing sunset light into the valley and created beautiful Crepuscular rays that had me bounding with joy (yes, I get excited when a scene is good)!
Equipment
This was before my switch to mirrorless bodies and was taken with my Sony a900 and 24-70mm Zeiss Lens.
Inspiration
This is a sunset shot that I never planned to shoot and just happened on while traveling back to Denver on a different route than normal. I was wrapping up a week of fall photography in the Colorado mountains and decided to drive 24 and see what I could find. I reached the pass in mid-afternoon and saw some awesome late season color. I liked the way the clouds were gathering in the distance and decided to wait until sunset to get the image and it payed off incredibly; the last shot of my fall Colorado trips netted me the best image of the whole season.
Editing
This is only one image despite the large dynamic range of the scene and shooting into the sun. I stopped using split-ND filters for the most part a couple years ago but I believe this is one of the last times I did. To process the image I mainly focused on bringing down the exposure of the sky while balancing it with an increased exposure in the foreground. Most of my Lightroom edits were minimal but a fair amount of shadow detail was added.
In my camera bag
Right now I everything in a first gen F-Stop Loka pack or my Osprey Exos 58 backpacking pack. Since switching to mirrorless I've been able to get most of my gear in a small ICU while my camera sits in a chest pouch for easy access. In my bag I currently have the following camera gear: a7R II, a7R as backup, Sony's FE lenses: 16-35mm f/4, 24-70mm f/4, and 70-200mm f/4, a Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 for night work, Rode shotgun mic for video, Neewer L-Plate, Hoya HD3 and Firecrest Polarizers, about 7 batteries and large external batteries (better to have too many I guess), Feisol CT-3442 tripod with Photoclam Gold ballhead, and a Lee Big Stopper filter. Depending on how far I'm hiking I'll remove certain items to make my load lighter. For non-camera equipment I usually have rain gear, puffy jacket and pants, and a Steripen to filter water while hiking. My favorite piece of gear is probably my Western Mountaineering puffy flight pants, never underestimate the value of warm legs while photographing at night!
Feedback
Shooting into the sun for a big scene like this will require a split-ND filter or blending images. I now prefer to blend images using LR or Photoshop over a filter to reduce the glass in front of my lens and minimize the gear I take with me while backpacking.

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