A Study of Portal Rock

Day Ninety two. Twice a year, the sun lines up with the hole in portal rock to produce stunning streaks of light as it streams through the hole at sunset. Unfortunately, I'm scheduled to be on the other coast during the peak time (though the beach is usually slammed with photographers then, so maybe it's not such a bad thing). What most people don't know, is that if you're within a few weeks of the peak, the effect is nearly the same, so I grabbed my gear and enjoyed the (very nearly) one lane winding road to get there. Unlike my trip to Limekiln, today had beautiful clouds with a nice shining sun, so I figured I'd give HDR another shot, especially since bracketing is really just a good idea anyways. And boy, did it pay off. This set is a pretty good mix of HDRs and recovered single exposures. It's really interesting to see how shooting down three stops compresses the colour space, effectively preserving the full dynamic range of the scene and how deep the colours are when you expand the image back up to a normal exposure. When it's done right, there actually aren't any highlights and you get to see the full colour of those highlights that are normally blown out white. Combine that with the simply stunning nature of Portal Rock at sunset and you get some truly amazing images :)

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