P157H – Dawn at Mono Lake, CA

At first appearance it may seem that a color or enhancing filter was used on this image, or that some post processing adjustments were used. The answer is no on both. It’s unfortunate these days that most people think post processing is used all the time in photography. I know with many photographers that this is true because they are not patient enough to wait for the correct light, unaware on how to capture the correct light or are just never happy with what mother nature really produces.

On this particular morning at Mono Lake, there was a very thin overcast sky with a clearing in the eastern sky where the sun was rising. These conditions are perfect for dramatic sky color. Many don’t realize however that the best time to capture this light is to make the exposure before the sun actually rises.

So then, did this scene really look like this in real life? Well, sort of. The difference was that the colors were not quite this intense because it was still relatively dark. What made the image work is that I increased the length of the expose to capture more light in the camera than what was actually occurring at the time. Because the sun was lighting up the overcast sky (but not the ground yet), the soft purplish/pink light of dawn was glowing over the scene.

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