Bristlecone Pine Moonrise

I took this image a few years back, in the White Mountains of the Eastern Sierras at the Bristlecone Pine forest. I was on a workshop with Guy Tal and Jack Graham. We had been experiencing some great moon phases at the time, and cloudless skies. I was taken with this tree, and how it was isolated by the terrain. The light became warmer as the sun went down. I knew the moon was about to rise, but wasn’t sure where until I got out my iPhone and used a skytracker app to see where it would come up. I adjusted my position to capture the moonrise and settled on this comp and timed it to where the moon was just above the earth’s shadow. The hills behind me were casting a shadow on the tree, so I blended a portion of an earlier exposure of the tree to minimize the harshness.

D800e 120mm f13 1/6s iso100

A larger image can be found here: Bristlecone Pine Moonrise

Any feedback is appreciated! Thanks for looking!


You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.

Great scene, Wade. I like the composition. I do think the exposure and saturation on the pine could be brought down just a bit. You have nice layers of color throughout.

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Beautiful view and combo of the bristlecone, mountains and moon. I might consider cloning out the bush in the lrc, but it is certainly not a biggie leaving it there. In the shadows, it does not stand out too much. Nicely done.

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I have to agree with Preston. In fact, I might even tone down the sky a bit too. You might find some other hidden colors in doing so. Otherwise, the composition is fantastic and you timed it perfectly with the moon.

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What a great Bristlecone and I really like the juxtaposition with the rising moon. Great job setting up for this, composition is excellent. Also a great job with the blending.

I do somewhat agree with Preston on the pine tree, although I think mostly the exposure could be brought down a little. I’m good with the saturation as this looks pretty natural (although I wasn’t there!) given the time of day and the last bits of warm light of the setting sun.

There’s a couple of minor dust spots/specs in the sky. Otherwise, well done!


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