View from Moon Mountain into Yangshuo Valley
This photo was a lot of work! First, I had to wake up early AND hike to the top of Moon Mountain (motivation for that was difficult). The whole time I was thinking, “Is the view at the top of Moon Mountain worth it?” Thinking back to it and looking at this photograph—I’d say so! But this picture was not easy to come by. You can see above that it started out as 10 different so-so pictures. With a little artistic imagination though…
1) Shoot 5 bracketed shots for the left half then 5 bracketed shots for the right half. Make sure your lens is zoomed in enough so the valley landscape doesn’t get too tiny (I used a 50mm)
2) Use Photomatix to make an HDR. I used my “Greenery, Water, and Sky” Preset and added strong sharpening at the end.
3) Use Lightroom/Photoshop to “Merge to Panorama.”
4) Use Topaz Remask to remove the sky from the image. Then add one of my clouds images to make a cooler sky (When the Big Man upstairs doesn’t give you beautiful cloud and a beautiful sunset…you have to take matters into your own hands).
5) Bring the new panoramic image with cool clouds to Lightroom. I used my “Mountain Pilgrimage with Gradient” preset to create the light.
6) Burn in the mountain foreground so it is very dark to draw the viewers eye to the valley.
7) Make a Cuba Libre and enjoy your creation.
View from Moon Mountain into Yangshuo ValleyChinaGuilinYangshuoLandscapesAdventurePanoramaCloudsHDRLightroomTopaz LabsJonathanPhotosJonathan Paulson PhotographyBeautiful Travel Photograph