Charles Walker  

Mauna Kea Above the Clouds by Charles Walker

July 2024 - Mauna Kea Above the Clouds

July 2024 - Charles Walker


About the Image(s)

This is a recently taken IR photograph of the summit of Mauna Kea, highest mountain in Hawaii and home to one of the largest astronomical observatories in the world. At nearly 14,000 feet, taking this photograph literally took my breath away. To process it, I raised the whites to bring out the clouds, increased contrast further by saturating and darkening the red and orange tones, then selected the High Dynamic (smooth) option in Nik Silver Efex Pro, which rendered better details and made the ancient lava
flow more discernable. Finally, I added a subtle vignette and applied Topaz to reduce noise.
Camera data: Nikon D7000 (590nm), f/9, 1/640, 50mm, ISO=100.

9 comments posted

Arik Gorban   Arik Gorban
Hi Charles. This is a unique and interesting landscape that you captured in a beautiful picture. Post processing is handled well. I like the darker area in the bottom right corner of the picture. It doesn't show in the original, but it helps with the composition. Nicely done.   Posted: 07/01/2024 07:13:00

Palli Gajree   Palli Gajree
Hi Charles
Beautiful landscape the way you've captured and processed. I agree with Arik regarding the remark at the bottom R/H corner. Well done!   Posted: 07/02/2024 01:42:45

Gary Potts   Gary Potts
Greetings Charles,

A peaceful and majestic scene which I very much appreciate and enjoy. The addition of road at the bottom right is a welcome addition to balance the composition. The tonal range is very well handled in my view. I do wonder, however, if the composition is tilting slightly to the right...look at the horizon above the clouds. I also would crop even more off the top since the sky is negative space that I don't feel is adding value. This is a stunning, extreme panoramic I feel.   Posted: 07/03/2024 07:26:56
Charles Walker   Charles Walker
Thanks again Gary for the useful comments. Indeed the image is tilted a tad on the right. I fixed it. However, while there may be too much sky, I want to retain some of it to alert the viewer that this is thin air, near the top of the dome of the earth's atmosphere.   Posted: 07/08/2024 15:27:18

Jack Florence Jr   Jack Florence Jr
I echo Gary's comments Charles. My first impression is there is too much sky, but if your end goal is a print, I can understand keeping the conventional dimensions. I like the way the dark hills render. It's simple and effective.   Posted: 07/03/2024 14:25:44

Henry Heerschap   Henry Heerschap
This is excellent. The composition and processing are first-rate, creating a very unique take on a well-known landscape. I do have to agree with Gary that it would benefit from straightening along the top of the clouds. The crop works for me, but I think a pano-cropped version would be equally good.   Posted: 07/04/2024 11:43:11

Emil Davidzuk   Emil Davidzuk

Simply an amazing Vista from 14Kft.

I humbly offer a version that crops the clear sky and retains everything else.


Emil   Posted: 07/05/2024 12:50:58
Comment Image
Charles Walker   Charles Walker
Emil, your crop makes the image better, definitely much more pano; however, I felt the absence of clouds at this high elevation allows the viewer to experience and feel what the near top of the earth's atmospheric dome is like. There is this silent nothingness in the upper atmosphere that I tried to capture, but perhaps it is not that photogenic? Nonetheless, some cropping needs to be done.   Posted: 07/08/2024 15:38:32

Melanie Hurwitz   Melanie Hurwitz
Hi Chuck, What a beautiful and engaging view. I feel it should be more panoramic with less sky. Never-the-less, well captured.   Posted: 07/06/2024 11:05:11


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