Storm in the Eastern Sierra

In August 2021 I tried to summit a few peaks in the Evolution Valley, Eastern Sierra, CA. Although I was chased off by an afternoon thunderstorm, it gave the area a unique rainy look. I honestly don’t remember the name of this peak, but the curvy ridgeline caught my eye.

Specific Feedback Requested

Really anything, I’m here to learn!

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Fuji XT-4 with 18-55 lens, shot at 55.

I mostly worked on dodging/burning areas that I wanted to highlight, while considerably darkening the front side of the ridge. I also added the blue tone for moodiness.


Hi Lorenzo, great image, nice scene. I like the dodging and burning you did. Would love to see the original before adding the blue tone, just for comparison. I like the subtle crisscross of the hills on the right side.

Hi Lorenzo,

Great scene. The high sierra’s and some dynamic weather. I did notice a few dust spots in your sky. I think the Ridgeline and light is the making of this image.

This is subjective but if this were my image I would back off the saturation in the sky a touch and add more emphasise to the light and the atmospheric haze which for my is the highlight of this scene. It appears that you add the blue colour to the highlights as well as the shadows. In the edit below I removed the colour grade from the highlights and accented the haze by lifting the black point of the background. Hopefully this gives you input to another approach.

Thanks David! Here is the original image:

Thank you so much for the edit Nathan! I like what you did with the highlights and the sky, it makes the mountains stand out more. I’m not sure about lifting the black point though, I liked the darkness for added contrast/mood. But I see your point and I absolutely appreciate your help. Thanks a bunch!

This is really interesting light and weather, and you have a strong composition Lorenzo. Your dodging and burning look natural to me. You have great light here, and took full advantage of it.

Color and saturation are very much a matter of personal choice. I actually like the cool cast here, but would back off the blue saturation slightly. And I would prefer to see you leave the black where it is , you have enough detail in the bottom shadows for me, and those shadows add to the drama factor. Here is a rework with my stab at reducing blue saturation.

I love the mood and the stark beauty of this rugged landscape you captured here. All of the diagonals are perfectly placed and let my eye travel through the scene rather nicely to savor that stark beauty. My own personal taste would be to back off the blue tone just a touch, but this is your vision. Beautifully done.

The foreground is awesome with its brooding look and reflected light. The background mountain is a great complement. I like @Nathan_Klein’s rework the most so far. No, @Ed_McGuirk’s rework is also really good. A steel blue seems to be better than navy blue.

Thanks everybody, it’s great to see how different eyes can create beautiful variations of the same picture. I think I like @Ed_McGuirk version with the desaturated blue in the sky. Great learning experience, thanks again!