This picture is from the rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. I was there to shoot the canyon.. but the light conditions were really unforgiving for capturing the harsh contrasts in the canyon. The light was filtering through thin clouds making for ugly grey high contrast light. As I was making one last stop, the light burst from behind a cloud lighting the landscape above the rim with brilliant warm light. I scrambled to find a great foreground (there are lots of gnarly trees in the area) and set up to shoot. Since the sun was right at my back, I had to be careful not to allow my own shadow into the scene.
Since I had dramatic light and awesome skies – I knew that if I shot it as an HDR it would be a very dramatic, slightly surreal scene. This would help control the crazy contrast and would capture the skies so they would look as cool as they were in my mind’s eye.
Vital Stats: Canon 5D Mark II w/Canon 17-40 f/4L @ 17mm ISO 100, f/18, +/- 2 stops bracketed