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stevealbano

Strange Sunset, Mono Lake



One of the most interesting cloud formations I've seen at the South Tufa, Mono Lake.

One of the most interesting cloud formations I've seen at the South Tufa, Mono Lake.
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Awards

Contest Finalist in Sunsets On Water Photo Contest
Absolute Masterpiece
Superb Composition
Akthuri Macpwm Tanya333 dumbdrum Robert71 ajloiselle Karl-Heinz +95
Peer Award
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Top Choice
miguelvienna richarddoney laurieleigh_0232 donnachesler stevenvela elizabethlizeloosthuizen yvonnechristinebannister +59
Magnificent Capture
Steve-n-Ning joestanley patticassidy jjones6307 MickAlicic ClockworkHippo jaimeelee +17
All Star
MHoyt myerscreativephotography AdamK maryhale9534 EJGJRobyn Herbetch raevan +16
Outstanding Creativity
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Superior Skill
chuckmyer frankfimbrez Davyblair JAStandring Capture-Life Athena_B maryhogan +2
Jaw Dropping
alishastevens ChrisBattenPhotography jorisj Chavis72 suehoke Norcal2 ehalstead
Genius
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Exceptional Contrast
Peter-Spowage AnnuO katherinejames
One Of A Kind
garyrhook williambraybon
Love it
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Emotions

Happy
chuckmyer

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22 Comments | Report
eleazarparedes PRO
 
eleazarparedes October 20, 2013
wow Amazing shot!
LaurieLarson PRO+
 
LaurieLarson October 20, 2013
Wow! That is absolutely amazing! Great job capturing it.
JDLifeshots
 
JDLifeshots October 20, 2013
Awesome capture!
rasca1962
 
rasca1962 October 20, 2013
awesome image :) - Tony
HRImages
 
HRImages October 20, 2013
amazing image!!
Norcal2
 
Norcal2 October 21, 2013
Stunning photo!
suehoke
 
suehoke October 21, 2013
Wonderful job!
333KimmySue
 
333KimmySue October 29, 2013
Absolutely beautiful!
peggyhouglandmarshall
 
peggyhouglandmarshall November 11, 2013
AMAZING
lito
 
lito December 07, 2013
Great capture!
Tim_Haynes
 
Tim_Haynes December 07, 2013
Beautiful work!
NikonBrand
 
NikonBrand January 18, 2014
Amazing!!
hollywood12
 
hollywood12 February 09, 2014
GREAT !!
Kksgram Premium
 
Kksgram May 28, 2014
Wow! Dramatic, colorful, well compose....this is outstanding in every way. We're headed out to that area in a couple of weeks and was thinking of skipping Mono Lake, since we've been there before. Now I think you've changed my mind.
tonyafricano PRO+
 
tonyafricano October 31, 2014
Well Steve, you've certainly created magic with this pic.. well done! stunning.
amberdavidsonanderson
 
amberdavidsonanderson March 10, 2015
These clouds are amazing! I love everything about this photo.
stevealbano PRO
stevealbano March 10, 2015
Thank you!
terryc PRO+
 
terryc April 10, 2015
A stunning capture, Steve!
stevealbano PRO
stevealbano April 10, 2015
Thanks!
Kksgram Premium
 
Kksgram November 15, 2015
Have been to Mono Lake and this is one of the best shots I've seen. Congrats on being a well deserved finalist.
stevealbano PRO
stevealbano November 15, 2015
Thanks, much appreciated!
KayBrewer PRO+
 
KayBrewer November 15, 2015
Congratulations, Steve! Finalist in Sunset on Water contest. SO deserved!
stevealbano PRO
stevealbano November 15, 2015
Thank you!
mikefrench Premium
 
mikefrench November 21, 2015
Just WOW!
stevealbano PRO
stevealbano November 21, 2015
Thanks, I'm glad you liked it!
JDLifeshots
 
JDLifeshots November 27, 2015
Congrats!
JulianneBradford
 
JulianneBradford January 28, 2016
Wow..gorgeous Steve!

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Behind The Lens

Location
I took this photo at the Mono Lake South Tufa Reserve. Mono Lake is off of Highway 395 near the little town of Lee Vining in California. The Eastern Sierra provide a wonderfully dramatic background for this unusual lake.
Time
For this particular shot I was on site about 1 hour before sunset. I was staying at an RV park about 15 miles away for my annual Fall Color visit, and made the short side trip to Mono Lake. While sunrise and sunset always have to potential to be beautiful, there were some dramatic stormy clouds over the lake that day so I figured it would be even more colorful for sunset, and luckily it was!
Lighting
The light was just wonderful. But, it can be tricky and fool your meter. I tend to keep my on matrix (or multiple points), but you have to be careful that the brightness of the sky doesn't cause the rest of your image to go dark. I'd suggest to take a shot with your desired settings, take a quick peek and adjust from there. Better yet, bracket your shots both plus and minus from your original meter reading (start with + and - 1 stop and adjust from there). Some camera will do this automatically, others may require that you perform the compensation manually, you'll need to check your cameras manual to verify how yours works.
Equipment
At the time, I was using my Canon 60D and 18-55mm EFS/IS lens. The camera was mounted on a very heavy Manfrotto tripod. In order to minimize any camera shake I set the 60D's mirror to lock up, and used a remote shutter release.
Inspiration
Mono Lake and the Eastern Sierra are a photographers playground. I usually spend several weeks each year in the area for fishing and photography. Over the years I'm always trying to get that one perfect photo, and keep an eye on the fall colors and the sky. While there aren't any trees around Mono Lake, the sky definitely plays a huge roll on photos. Whenever there's an afternoon thunderstorm near, I head for the lake in search of that one special shot. Maybe someday I'll get it!
Editing
There is a bit of post-processing on this shot. My usual routine is to shoot RAW with post-processing in mind. Because there was such a range of light to dark in the shot, I bracketed 3 shots, and blended them in Photoshop CS6 to bring out all of the color and detail I saw that late afternoon. It's very easy to go overboard and overcook an image this way, and I'm very careful to try and keep it realistic. I'm not always successful, but I think that everything worked out with this image.
In my camera bag
This image as taken several years ago and my equipment has changed quite a bit. At the time, I had a Canon 60D, 18-55 EFS/IS lens, and a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, along with the large Manfrotto tripod, filters, and other misc. accessories. My current equipment selection is much smaller and lighter since I have moved from the DSLR world to Micro Four Thirds (M43). My favorites that move in and out of the bag are the Olympus E-M5, and Panasonic GX8. I also have an Olympus 17mm f/1.8, 45mm f/1.7, 75-300mm, and Panasonic 45-200mm lenses.
Feedback
I have a couple of pieces of advice for similar shots - pay attention to the time of day, and the sky! You can shoot anytime of the day, but your best light is at dawn or sunset. There are apps for your phone (iPhone or Android) that can help you figure out where and when the sun is going to be any time of the day, or you can just do some scouting on your own. Once I've decided where and when I want to take photos, I arrive early. I can't count the times I gone to Mono Lake for sunrise photos in the dark, and walked down from the parking lot to get set up and have had the whole place to myself. And walking back after the show is over, I've watched many photographers come running down from the parking lot to try and grab a few shots. More than likely they were disappointed with their results, all because they couldn't get out of bed a few minutes earlier. The other problem with not arriving early for sunset is depending on the place, it can get quite crowded. Arriving early will assure you of a spot!

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