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derxphoto June 09, 2018
wonder sunset)

Kamchatka mountain desert



Black sand landscapes in the mountains of Kamchatka. From desolate volcanic desert-like landscapes to lush green forests and salmon-rich rivers, Kamchatka is an...
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Black sand landscapes in the mountains of Kamchatka. From desolate volcanic desert-like landscapes to lush green forests and salmon-rich rivers, Kamchatka is an amazing - largely unspoiled - area full of beauty.
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Featured
Contest Finalist in Social Exposure Photo Contest Vol 11
Peer Award
Absolute Masterpiece
+6
Superb Composition
+3
Top Choice
+1
Magnificent Capture
Outstanding Creativity
Virtuoso
Superior Skill
Genius
All Star

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Behind The Lens

Location
This photo was taken in a remote area in - the already remote - Kamchatka, the far-east peninsula of Russia. In 1975 a strong volcanic eruption began in this specific area (near the Tolbachik volcano), which lasted 1.5 years and killed all vegetation. Now, here and there, some shrubs make their way through the thickness of the sand and plants resurface.
Time
This was taken at sunset.
Lighting
I loved how the soft evening light lights up the green grass, which contrasts very nicely with the black sand. Although I was hoping for a spectacular sunset, there were hardly any clouds, so I decided to use a high aperture to create a sunstar as the sun set behind one of the hills.
Equipment
I used a Sony A7II with 16-35 f4 lens.
Inspiration
This place spoke to me ever since I learned about it, and when I was there and the soft light hit and touched the black sands, finding a composition was all I had to do.
Editing
I used luminosity masks to merge the sky with another image for the foreground. I did a bit of initial work in Lightroom, such as working on the whitebalance, recovering shadows and adding sharpness. I then proceeded to edit it using Nik Color Efex 4 to bring out more detail in the foreground and added a small amount of glow to the clouds. I finally did a bit of dodging in burning in Photoshop on the illuminated spots in the sand where the light hits to create more depth. That's it!
In my camera bag
Next to a carbon MeFoto tripod and Sony A7II body, I don't travel anywhere without my trusted FE 16-35 G-Master - my absolute go-to lens for landscape photography. When I'm in the mountains, a telezoom (70-200) is an absolute must, too. A remote control, lens cloths, a bunch of LEE grad filters and a LEE Landscape polarizer are part of my kit as well. I love to travel as light as possible and the mirrorless system shaves off a significant amount of weight compared to most DSLRs, making for more pleasant hiking.
Feedback
Aim for your own style, your own interpretation of any landscape you come across. When it comes to this specific location: Russia's Kamchatka is an incredibly region and very underrated (and largely unknown) in the landscape photography community. In some ways it resembles Iceland - minus the crowds. If this place peeks your interest, my advice would be not to hesitate and make the trek out there - you won't be disappointed.

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