Lake Hodges Dawn from Del Dios Highlands

With a slight delay, here are three more photos from the early morning hike to Del Dios Highlands with my photo-friend Lawrence. Unlike the previous images, these are a bit more “typical landscapes” that actually include a portion of the sky. ;)

All three are “Lightroom HDRs”, in other words, they’re merged from multiple exposures to cover the entire dynamic range, and then developed with a healthy amount of local adjustments to bring out the details.

I consider this the “lazy” approach to working with high contrast scenes — blending with luminosity masks in Photoshop would be the obvious alternative, but when you can get results like this with using Lightroom alone, why bother going through all the extra steps? ;)


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Next: August 2021 End Notes

10 thoughts on “Lake Hodges Dawn from Del Dios Highlands”

  1. I really like the top image. That smattering of city lights I thought was distracting but the more I looked the more I liked them. They are one more element to think about and consider what may be going on there at that early hour. If I lived there I might want this on my wall.

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  2. Fantastic, I really like these. Each one has incredible depth, and then the colors, of course. Not being familiar with that area they almost have the feel of being from another country, so I love that they’re in California. I’ve having a hard time picking a favorite from these, but I think I’m most drawn to the second. There’s the idea of making civilization disappear as we talked about in the previous post, though Joe has great points about the lights of the top one. But I think it’s also the composition of the second that I’m drawn to. I can picture myself sitting on the rocks in the foreground and just watching as the sun rises.

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    • Ha! My friend Lawrence was sitting on those very rocks a little bit later when he made his photos, just as the sun came above the mountains on the horizon. :) Thank you very much, Todd.

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  3. Wow, really nice. I think LR’s HDR Merge has improved quite a bit, and the workflow can’t be beat! I like the previous set of photographs also, particularly the last in that series.

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