Where The Heavens, Art and The Imagination Meet

The Splendid Sunset

It was a magnificent evening in Queenstown, New Zealand high atop Deer Park Heights. DPH is no longer open to the public, but the intrepid Trey Ratcliff had, of course, found a way to bring the entire group of us up there for a sunset shoot. It was a photo adventure workshop, so we were traveling in a pack.

The awesome thing about New Zealand sunsets is that they go on… and on… and on! Here in California you have to be all set up and ready for the bloom of the set, because BAM! it’s over and done with in about 5 minutes. Over there… we had upwards of an hour and a half of gorgeous light to enjoy, frame, reframe, hike over there, stand over here, check out that knoll – for several compositions in one splendid sunet. It was amazeballs!


Sky Swapping

Since I always like to let you in on my behind-the-scenes – and freely admit that I’ll fix a sky that doesn’t measure up to my fanciful expectations – below is the original HDR image of the moment. I was never  satisfied with the lack of grandeur it conveyed, so sat in my collection this way for several months before I decided to bite the bullet on an upgrade.

The sky image that I used was from one breathtakingly brilliant evening at the Valley of Fire outside of Las Vegas, Nevada over last summer. It’s pretty much SOOC… no retouching was necessary, so fiery and awesome the evening. But it matched the sky color from the original image nicely… plus I did some research to make sure they really do get skies like this in NZ. Sure enough, they do.

If you’re going to try something like this, make sure to spend time with the color and light quality of the water and hills; they need to reflect the color/light as they would have done in real life. IF it were real life. Which of course, it is! And… isn’t. That’s the beauty in a delicious collision of life, nature, art and the imagination. 😀