This picture was taken a the top of Mt. Diablo in Northern California. This is the view from the 3,848 foot peak, showing "The eye of Diablo", which is lit one day per year on December 7th to honor those who served and sacrificed. The top of Mt. Diablo has an amazing 360 degree view of the San Francisco east bay
I took this photo mid-day on one of the many hazy afternoons on the mountain. If you look closely at the photo, what looks like grain is actually a storm of bugs that were thick in the air that day.
Typically mid-day lighting is too harsh and flat for most landscape images, but the filtered light from the clouds makes it possible to shoot even at 1 in the afternoon.
Photo was taken with my Nikon D600 and a circular polarizer on my Nikkor 16-35mm f/4G ED VR.
A few months before the photo was taken, Mt. Diablo suffered a major forest fire. I took a trip up the mountain to see not only the devastation of the fire but to see what wildflowers were coming to life in the wake of the damage.
I do most of my editing in Lightroom followed by detail enhancement in Color Efex Pro. Along with this version, I have a Black and White version that I edited in Sliver Efex Pro that I have been pretty happy with. It has been hard to pick which one I like more. In the end, I think the layer of clouds are the real star of the image and Color Efex Pro is able to bring out the detail that would otherwise be lost.
In my camera bag
My bag is pretty packed. I bring the Nikon D600 with my 16-35, 24-70 and a Nikkor 70-300 lens. I also keep a Fuji 100s with me for street photography. All of this fits in my LowePro backpack. At times I travel with a 2nd camera bag dedicated to 35mm and Instax film shooting.
A wide angle lens is my "go to" lens for landscape photos. I have always been drawn to being able to capture as much of the frame that my eyes can see and the 16-35mm lens is the best I can do without creating panoramic images. Even with a wide lens like this, bring a tripod to make sure everything stays as sharp as possible.