Desert Sunrise

We got up before the crack of dawn to capture this amazing sunrise at Zabriskie Point in Death Valley. The immense beauty of this place is breathtaking no matter where you go.

Specific Feedback Requested

I would welcome constructive feedback on this image. What do you think of the comp? Should I crop?

The primary area of concern for me are the mountains on the right side of the image where it meets the sky. There was some chromatic aberration there I removed. I also blurred the edge ever so slightly but it still seems a bit off, almost like it has an outline around it.

Other feedback welcomed.

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Shot with a Nikon D750, 40mm, ISO 125, 1/6s, F13


Another fine image, Scott. I wouldn’t crop this at all. I see what you’re talking about in the right. To me, it looks like a bit of a halo around the mountains…in my experience this is usually caused by too much shadow/highlight adjustments, or a bit heavy handed on the clarity tool. This is especially the case when mountains, sea stacks, or trees are framed by the sky. When I have those cases, I revert back to the dodge/burn brushes and manually adjust the subject, much better control for me.

That’s just my take, others will likely have other suggestions and thoughts too.

Thanks so much David!

Yes, I did crank up the “texture” when processing so will revisit that based on your valuable feedback. Thanks again for the feedback from one Portlander to another. Most appreciated!


Welcome to the forum! My vote on the crop is to take a bit off the right side; the composition seems right sided heavy. Also, I would crop the bottom to exclude the lighter colored rock on the left whcih draws the eye and is the least interesting part of the photo.

I took the texture and clarity down using a layer mask and it worked quite nicely! Thanks again for the feedback.

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Tony, thanks so much! I took your advice, did some cropping and the outcome is much better. Thanks again, most appreciated!

Fixed some of the texture and clarity issues, and did a bit of cropping. Thanks for the comments!


@scott_fenton , I really like your newer cropped version of the scene. I think it is a stronger composition overall.

Thanks Tom, most appreciated! Happy holidays, Scott

Welcome, Scott. It is indeed a very nice image. But, as has been drawn to your attention, haloing can become a problem due to a number of reasons . If, for example, you blend a darker and lighter exposure of the same picture to account for dynamic range. But usually, haloing results from pushing the highlights too far to the left and the shadows too far to the right. Sometimes that can be addressed as you go but sometimes it can’t or we missed it and don’t want to re-do the whole thing. There is a simple solution that you can use if, at the end of your post-processing you find you still have haloing. In this image, even after you re-worked it, the haloing is less but still quite evident. Rather than explain how to remove it, I’ve included this video by Sean Bagshaw. Give it a look, it’s a very simple Photoshop technique.


Awesome technique! Thanks for sharing that.

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Kerry - Thanks so much! This technique worked beautifully!