Sunset Light on the Namib Rand

The sun was setting on the Namib Rand Desert & Mountains in Namibia and I was able to capture the last rays on the mountains. My original image was too bright (in my opinion), so I used Luminar to add contrast and color and darken the foreground, Topaz to sharpen and denoise and added a vignette, along with cloning out distracting items and adding contrast to the sky.

Specific Feedback Requested

I want any feedback, but most specifically on whether I should brighten the foreground or leave it dark as it is. I have included the revised image as well as the original SOOC.

Technical Details

Fujifilm XT3, Fuji 100-400 at 207mm, ISO 320, f/11, 1/50. Processing details above.


Wonderful!! A raw file is by definition information (even after demosaicing) and there is no need to rely on SOOC as having any accuracy for the scene. I like the upper half in the first image but think something closer to the lower half of the second looks more interesting.


Beautiful landscape image. That last light on the mountain is striking and of course could be a subject all by itself. But you did a great job incorporating the plains. I even like the little tiny tree taking up nice space in the LRC - lower right corner.

I would agree with Diane that I like the contrast and presentation of the top image. But I think the foreground plain could be brightened just a bit. Not too much of course as the light still needs to reflect the time of day and conditions… so the top and bottom still have to work together. But I think there’s room to bring up the luminosity in the grasses a tad.

Oh, and I really like the increased drama in the clouds. Well done!


I like the layers of interest from the trees to the lovely light to the mountains to the sky. I agree with what others have said in terms of lightening up the foreground a bit.

@Diane_Miller @Lon_Overacker @DeanRoyer Thank you all for your wonderful detailed feedback and honest critique! I reworked the image, and I’m hoping it’s not too bright now. I tried to just adjust the bottom half, but I had so many layers, I couldn’t do it, so I had to start over. But I appreciate and agree that the bottom half needed to be lightened, and I did that. Hope I put the revised image in the right place (top of post & here). I’m also thinking I’m done with this one, and I need to move on. thanks again!

I love what you did in reworking this image based on the feedback above. Love the composition, the complementary colors, and the different textures in this image. The foreground is slightly brighter than the background, which draws my eye into that part of the image. Gorgeous!

It is a beautiful scene! In my opinion, the middle image is the best or my favorite. It highlights the sun at the foot of the hills, so your eye goes directly to that area. Which is what you want, I assume, since this is the light you were trying to capture. When you brighten the bottom half, it makes it all one tone, so you lose the focus of the interesting area. Does that make sense?

@Martha_Montiel thank you Martha. I am torn between the revised photo and the middle one that you like. I think somewhere in between with the bottom foreground a little darker, but I’m going to settle for one of them for now. Thank you for taking the time to reply and give me your thoughts.!

@Patrick_Campbell thank you for your thoughts and the compliment! I’m glad you like the reworked image!

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