Basin Overlord

I just returned from a short trip in the High Sierra backcountry. While it is melting fast, the amount of snow remaining in early July is impressive. I would judge some of the drifts are still 6-8 feet deep. Hiking is a bit challenging with creeks running high and trails still partially under deep sun cupped snow. For perspective the sun cups in this image are as much a two feet deep.

This is a two image focus stack and double raw conversion to manage the brighter portion of the sky. Appreciate any comments/suggestions. Thanks

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Lovely image as is. Well done. I have just two nit picky suggestions: the top of the distant mountain seems darker than the middle and bottom, perhaps left over from darkening the sky? I’d lighten it a bit. Also, consider removing just a little of the blue cast in the snow.

Beautiful, Dave. That glassy reflection is very appealing. The cloud is very successful in highlighting the peak and I also find the sun cups foreground interesting. To nitpick, I think the dark rock just below the peak in the reflection is a little bit of a distraction, it will take some work but cloning it out might be doable. I also find the small “pool” on the LRC a distraction but to a much lesser degree.

Excellent, Dave. I would darken the reflection a bit, but otherwise, the processing looks great to my eye. Thanks for taking me back to the high country and an area I have been a few times.

Dave, great image from the High Sierra! This is a basin I have always wanted to visit! Based on that foreground, I can only image the suncups you had to slog through on your hike up there.

I really like how you processed the sky and the sun cups in the immediate foreground. Great color and contrast in this scene. My only critique is that I feel like the center of the image is a bit too dark, in particular the peak and cluster of rocks in front of it. I think the shadows and blacks in this area look fine, but I think the area could benefit from a boost to the whites and slight boost to the exposure.

Looking forward to seeing more of your work from the High Sierra this summer!

The fg snow here is far more attractive than your recent image. It has wonderful luminosity and richness of color. And speaking of color the sky and it’s reflection is perhaps the best part of this image.

It may sound counterintuitive but I might lighten that distant mountain and even haze it. I feel that the similar tonality between the ridge and mountain don’t provide enough separation between the two.

I kinda like that lone tree on the left although some may find it distracting.

Oh my, this is quite excellent !!! The light and clouds are exquisite, and those ripples in the snow are the icing on the cake. I actually like the tree, I think it helps the image to avoid being too static. i like how the boulder field beyond the lake sort of mimics the ripples in the snow. your processing of color looks excellent.

I think @Igor_Doncov has a good idea about lightening and hazing the distant mountain, it naturally should look that way, and as Igor points out would help with separation of the mountain. I might also consider lightly dodging the highlights on the snow ripples in the near foreground, to create a little more texture there.

Dave, I can’t add much to what the others have already stated but agree this is a really wonderful scene you have crafted. For me the foreground and reflection just grabs my attention and then I can eventually take in the rest. As a bonus for me I learned a new term, “sun cups”. I have spent some time skiing in the mountains and have heard a lot of terms for snow but not that one!
Nice work!

Dave, Beautiful light and colors in this wonderful scene and the snow adds so much to this. Looks great to me!

Great sky, great light and a just an all around great image, Dave. The FG snow is a wonderful element and I love the subtle light on the rims of the sun cups. This is being real nit picky, but if possible I would try and remove that dark rock in the water along the edge of the FG snow. looking forward to seeing what else you came back with.


Gorgeous High Sierra landscape image. Wow, those sun cups are pretty impressive (making for treacherous hiking I imagine).

Not too much to add. Great job with the sky (colors, exposure, etc.). And just so Igor doesn’t feel alone, I like the little tree too. :wink:

Always enjoy your Sierra images and like Luiz, looking forward to the rest of the season.


@Tony_Siciliano, @Alan_Kreyger, @Nick_Bristol, @Lon_Overacker thanks for your comments/input.
@Adhika_Lie, @Ed_Lowe, thanks for your input. I agree that it would be better without that dark rock above the foreground snow but removing is probably more manipulation than I’m comfortable with. I’ll think about it…
@Harley_Goldman, thanks, Man. good observation. Somehow I overlooked while blending in the darker sky.
@Luiz_A_Arroyo, @Igor_Doncov, @Ed_McGuirk, thanks for the input on lightening and “hazing” the central portion. Interesting that at the last minute I added a radial filter over the peak area and increased the clarity. I’m going to go back now and reconsider!

The melting snow creates some great textures and I like the way they reflect the warm light. I can’t think of anything to improve here. It looks well done all around.