Sunrise – Capitol Peak

Post by blogger | May 24, 2006      

Sunrise over Capitol Peak

Last weekend we backcountry skied a summit in the Raggeds subgroup of Colorado’s Elk Mountains. As viewed from our perch in the sky, during sunrise the 14ers of the Elks made a stunning baseline for clouds and azure sky (the jutting mountain on the left is Capitol Peak).

With a film camera I would have needed a gradient filter to catch this shot without making the mountains a black “cardboard cutout” silhouette or exposing the sky as too bright, as the sunlit sky and dark mountains were too different in brightness for the film to record details in both. With a digital camera the solution was simple: take two shots with different exposures, then combine in Photoshop to approximate what our eyes saw that morning — including the retina burn of a hot sun just under the horizon as well as faint details on the mountainsides. (If you can’t see any details in the mountains, then adjust monitor brightness.) I like the way the hot spot keeps my eyes bouncing around on the photo… (click image to enlarge)


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10 Responses to “Sunrise – Capitol Peak”

  1. AKBC May 24th, 2006 9:50 am

    Nice shot Lou! Did you use a DSLR? (I seem to recall you favoring a small p&s) – also, did you manage the shot w/o a tripod?

  2. Ricky May 24th, 2006 2:37 pm

    Again I must comment on your photography! Great job, and thanks for letting us in on your secret.

  3. C.C. May 24th, 2006 4:29 pm

    Beautiful shot.
    Brings back fond memories of the knife edge in mid-winter at the tender age of 17.
    Bro Craig

  4. Lou May 24th, 2006 6:33 pm

    Hey AK, no tripod and I used the Canon A620, just tried to composed the shot the same, with the same zoom, then when doing the composite in Pshop I had to tilt one of them about .5 degree for it to match up. Tripod would have been nice, but not essential. I’ve got a couple of lightweight tripods I carry once in a while, but I’m really enjoying the simplicity of digitial photography so it’s fun to leave everything but the camera behind.

    I’ve got a DSLR (Rebel), but am finding that many shots from the A620 are fine for my type of use (mostly web publishing or video stills). Would be nice to have DSLR features for action shots, that’s when the p&s cameras really fall short, at least in my experience…

  5. AKBC May 25th, 2006 11:41 am

    Hmmm…I had thought about bolting a quick-release female plate to the top of a ski pole grip, creating a monopod you always had with you. It woudl probably work well with a Whippet because there is so much metal to work with at the top of the grip – perhaps a Wildsnow fabrication project?

  6. Lou May 25th, 2006 2:18 pm

    AK, my thoughts exactly. A number of years ago I put a simple 1/4 x 20 stud in the top of a ski pole, then would jam it in the snow and twirl the camera onto the stud. Worked great, but I didn’t know much about photography back then and didn’t get much use out of it. Simple and light, and I could sure use it now. The stud takes a bit longer than a quick release plate but you don’t even know it’s on the ski pole till you need it…

  7. frank konsella May 25th, 2006 6:07 pm

    Leki was very smart and made their probe poles photo ready. Unscrew the grip, screw in the camera, and presto! you’ve got a monopod. very cool

  8. AKBC May 26th, 2006 10:47 am

    Frank, does Leki still make poles like that? What model?

  9. AKBC May 26th, 2006 11:08 am

    Is it the Leki Meridian?

  10. frank konsella May 26th, 2006 5:49 pm

    leki lawisond extreme probe poles. they may have others as well, but that’s what I have.

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