Weekly Challenge - Outcropping at Mt. Sanitas

I first posted this in #image-critiques:landscape-critiques earlier in January and received some fantastic remarks and a suggestion by @Sandy_Richards-Brown to post to this week’s Weekly Challenge. Thanks, Sandy and everyone!

The image was made during an early July 2018 evening hike up and back on Mt. Sanitas in Boulder, CO. Wildflowers blanket this mountain of sandstone in early July. As a north-south ridge hike there’s plenty of exposure west and east. On this evening, the sky was quite active.

So this version opened up the dark areas a bit (although it looks just as dark posting here). In fact, I started over because of a fatal flaw in my original workflow. I also brightened the brightest clouds and removed a distracting branch. Overall this image covers the full range on the histogram in a desirable way.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

Composition, post-processing, B&W processing

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Any and all

Any pertinent technical details:

iPhone 6s
Lightroom camera app (takes RAW images!)
1/1700 sec
ISO 25
4.15 mm
Lightroom and Photoshop processing

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.
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Matthew, you have a fine range of tones here. The foreground flowers show well against that nicely rugged rock and the white cloud layers look good in the sky. For me, this view provides an “artistic statement” because of the overall darkness. I’d like to see the darker areas a bit brighter and find the black sky at the top somewhat distracting. However, that’s my view, which is not necessarily the statement/story that you want to tell.

1 Like

An interesting contrast between the flowers as a foreground and the dark tones around it giving a rather menacing feel, Matt.

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@Mark_Seaver, @Dennis_Plank Thank you. I’ll credit responses to my original posting of this image for expanding my thinking about the range of tones. I tend to agree after widening it.

As for the darkness of the image, I like the darkness for the mystery and mood it creates. I have noticed that my images show up slightly darker in NPN than in Lightroom, but so far I have resisted the urge to lighten them just for the forum.