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Sun goes down, moon comes up

I find sunsets depressing. They go by so quickly. On my recent vacation in Colorado, I got lucky with a couple.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Here's a shot taken at the aptly named Sunset Point, at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Three versions of the same shot follow.

This first one was created with the help of the Google/Nik apps.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison at sunset. Olympus E-M1 + Olympus 25 f1.8 lens.

Unfortunately the Google/Nik apps create a border that eats into the picture's margins, and this photo didn't have enough of a margin. That open bit of sky at the top got cut too much. So I reprocessed in DxO Optics Pro 9, twice — creating the following two versions. The main difference between them is obvious: white balance.

I'm not sure, but I think I actually prefer the darker or "colder" of these two images. In the second image, the reddish glow that fills the picture gives the entire canyon a warm, fuzzy feeling. But that's not the way it really was or is. It's a deep, forbidding whole in the ground. That's why I like the first, more austere image of these two — with that little kiss of red glow of the setting sun on the walls of the canyon.

But as I said, I'm not sure.

Rocky Mountain National Park

The key to happiness at Rocky — as at so many national parks — is to get into the park either very early in the day or very late in the day. That's when the animals are most likely to be out. It's also when the light in the park is most beautiful. On our recent visit to Rocky, we drove up to the top of the park at the end of the day. We were rewarded at around 11,000 feet with a show by a pika, a marmot and a weasel. And on our way down, we saw these beautiful sunsets. It didn't hurt that the moon was almost full.

These shots were all processed in Lightroom with the help of the Google/Nik add-ons.

Above the clouds at Rocky. Panasonic LX7.

Sunset and moonrise at Rocky. Panasonic LX7.

Sunset at Rocky. Panasonic LX7.

Moonrise at Rocky. Olympus E-M1 + Olympus 70-300 lens @ 70mm.


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