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Behind the shot: Drama in the Mountains

Recently on social media of Trips4photos, I posted a photograph from the Julian Alps which was captured in a different way than all the other photographs I've taken so far.

First, golden rules of the Landscape photography are to shoot at sunrises and sunsets, blue hour and golden hour. And as a landscape photographer, you hope to have a high clouds, which will colorize from the sun when it will start to set.

But the rules are there to be broken. Sometimes.

It was Sunday, and nothing much was going on, so the afternoon trip was unavoidable. First, we navigated to the valley of Bohinj and rented a canoe. I got pretty disappointed with the parking machine as it didn't want to accept more than two euros for parking in the zone, where parking is not time limited. Thank you Municipality of Bohinj. I don't have a problem to pay, but if I can't, I wont. So we had just approximately 90 minutes for the paddling. The weather did not look promising as we were paddling around the lake. There was a shower in the western part of the lake and few drops were falling on us too. We were lucky to come back in time and the rain didn't start. So we decided, we will drive north to the area of Vršič mountain pass and try our luck with the sunset image of the Julian Alps. We left the car at one of the mountain huts and hiked for an hour, got lost, hiked for the next 10 minutes and finally came to the 1600m peak, which offered an amazing view of the area. The clouds were rolling from all the sides, in the distance, we could hear the thunderstorm coming from the Austrian side. But we had the peak just for ourselves. And took a couple of dramatic shots of the mountains and clouds. The thunder reminded us it is better to leave the summit and we descent to the car just in the right moment as when we reached the asphalt road of the mountain pass, the rain started to fall.

About the image:

Image was taken with the Fujifilm X-T2 and 10-24 f/4 lens at f/8, ISO 200 and shutter speed of 1/13 of a second. It was also taken with the help of the Ray Masters Zero Graduated filter ND16 which provide a bit of magenta tint to the image. It is the composite of two images, stacked in PS with the so called "focus stacking" where I first focus on foreground (flowers) and in second image I focused on the background (mountains). That gives the image sharpness through the whole scene.

Postprocessing in PS took me a while, I'm just learning the new drama post thanks to great Italian photographer Enrico Fossati, one of the biggest masters of dramatic and dark images. First, I imported the Raw files to Camera Raw, adjust the exposure, shadows and the darks, import to PS, stacked them together and started to post-process. Drama was added with the Nik Software tools such as Tonal Contrast and the rest was done with the luminosity masks and a lot of dodging and burning. The final image is a dramatically looking and strong image with the contrast and dark mode. For the first time, editing in the dark mode processing, I am quite happy about the result. If you have any comments about the image, just add a comment below. I will be happy to answer.

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