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Photographer's Note

This is a shot from somewhere on the grounds of the Mount Wilson Observatory (5715ft, 1742m), located just NE of Pasadena, CA in the San Gabriel Mountain Range. I'm sorry I don't know exactly where I was on the grounds, nor which of the numerous telescopes we're looking at here.

The clouds had really started rolling in about an hour before. The whole area was deserted, and with the dark fog the effect was quite ghostly. Everything was eerily soft and quiet.

There were many things that needed to be done with this picture before posting (the original is here). Btw, the bird was an unlooked for bonus.

I began by cropping a branch in the top left, then decided to remove some branches from the foreground that were a distinctly different green. This put the emphasis more on the sky, which now appeared really bright. I also played with several different crops on the right, moving the telescope closer to the edge, but ended up leaving it as wide as possible, trusting my initial judgement in positioning the shot on site.

Next I worked to adjust the brightness. There are many ways that this could be done well, I tried several and settled on this. In all though, it's probably still a little brighter than the light appeared to the eye on that day, the fog was pretty gloomy.

Lastly I sharpened the entire image a bit after resizing, and sharpened even more the bird, since his motion caused a bit of blurring. I debated whether or not to sharpen the tower and the far treeline, but opted to leave it as is, adding to the softening effect of the fog.

Feel free to workshop this, I think there are more possibilities with this particular picture than most, depending on what mood you want. Also feel free to start with the original, which I linked above. Remember that that day was cool, misty, ghostly, and quiet.

ISO 50, focal 28mm

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Additional Photos by Johnny Five (johnnyfive) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 22 W: 1 N: 44] (94)
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