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A Surprise Many Years Later

Posted by
Steven (Chicagoland, United States) on 1 April 2021 in Landscape & Rural and Portfolio.

Being in semi-isolation due to the pandemic, I've been doing A LOT of digging into my archived photos. I decided to tackle photos taken in Sedona, Arizona back in May of 2013, almost eight years ago. I thought of trying many photos in B&W as I haven't posted many on my site. We had taken a tour with Pink Jeep during the late afternoon/early evening hours one day. During our descent from our high point when overlooking the Mogollon Rim HERE, I took literally hundreds of bracketed photos with multiple exposures knowing that there may be moments when we would be looking toward the sun.

Upon our return to review the photos, the hundreds of bracketed photos didn't look promising and many of them just stayed in my external hard drive untouched. About two weeks ago, I thought that I would try my HDR treatment on a series of bracketed photos. I still have yet to figure out how to configure my user dial on my Nikon to take five bracketed photos (-2, -1, 0, +1, +2) as I thought that the standard three photos (-2, 0, +2) weren't enough.

Before processing these three bracketed photos, I didn't have any high hopes for what would materialize.

But the sunburst really materialized nicely without dominating the image. And I believe the sunburst being off-center works well here. The unfortunate thing is that the color of the landscape really didn't shine and I did NOT want to add any more color as the sunburst and sky would have looked overdone. And I must say I was a bit lazy to do any selective coloring. I also thought of processing this as a B&W composition but the tonal range wasn't all that great.

From the archives...........Photo captured May 6, 2013.

NIKON D7000 1/30 second F/22.0 ISO 100 51 mm (35mm equiv.)

New photos posted on most Mondays through Thursdays.
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Spotlight Images

rem_la from Villiers, France

superbe vue

1 Apr 2021 5:15am

Marie from Villages du Lac de Paladru, France

Really a superb surprise. Magnificent moment captured. I love!

1 Apr 2021 5:19am

Martine from Brest, France

Que c'est beau, j'adore ce ciel.

1 Apr 2021 5:26am

Claudine/canelle from Lorient, France

Magnifique tut simolement , merci !

1 Apr 2021 5:58am

Jypyä Pop from Turku, Finland

Very gorgeous work of art.

1 Apr 2021 6:40am

Anna Cherer from LA ROCHELLE, France

Many of us are revisiting our archives, I believe, since we cannot travel because of the pandemic! we find some treasures, like this photo !
I like the sunburst through the cloudy sky, and the colours of the mountain ! a superb moment !

1 Apr 2021 6:48am

jpla from Anjou, France

Belle pioche

1 Apr 2021 7:01am

jean pierre from Paris, France

belle trouvaille!!

1 Apr 2021 7:10am

PAPOU from Aubusson (Creuse), France

Magnifiques et étonnantes couleurs.

1 Apr 2021 7:33am

Gérard Flayol from Château-Gombert, Marseille, France

With this bracketing, you could have done HDR, but it's very good this way too!

1 Apr 2021 7:38am

@Gérard Flayol: HDR was used, but not so much.

yo from Entre Seine et Loire, France

Il faut savoir doser le HDR et je trouve que cette photo est une réussite !

1 Apr 2021 7:43am

Dimitrios from ATHENS, Greece


1 Apr 2021 7:45am

Hiro from Kyoto, Japan

You captured the sun very impressively !

1 Apr 2021 8:30am

mo.langel from Courtelary, Switzerland

A beautiful photo that you did well to pull out of your archives to share with us! The colors and the sun rays are superb!

1 Apr 2021 8:51am

grouser from Ludlow, United Kingdom

I think the limited colour palette with the blue and purple cast on the rocks works well, accentuating the strata nicely and the star burst sun is perfectly placed in the frame.
I notice when I do a five shot HDR burst on my Olympus it often gives a similar colour combination to this in the shadow areas. Not quite what the eye perceives.

1 Apr 2021 8:52am

Ana Lúcia from Leiria, Portugal

Great capture... right place at the right time.

1 Apr 2021 9:38am

P-TER from Roeselare, Belgium

Hartvarwarmende a photo !!

1 Apr 2021 10:06am

P-TER from Roeselare, Belgium


1 Apr 2021 10:07am

Hootin' Anni from United States

Magnificent!! Arizona is a beautiful state. Your photo is proof positive.

1 Apr 2021 10:43am

helys from Paris, France


1 Apr 2021 11:02am

Florence from Bretagne, France


1 Apr 2021 11:04am

Rose from United States

Oh, I do think this works...I love it.

1 Apr 2021 11:05am

Ruthiebear from Titusville, NJ, United States

5 stars from me. SPectacular

1 Apr 2021 12:46pm

Maryse from bordeaux, Denmark

Fabuleux !
Bonne journée Steven

1 Apr 2021 1:05pm

Ralf Kesper from Fröndenberg, Germany

Beautiful capture!

1 Apr 2021 1:13pm

Denise from granby, québec, Canada


1 Apr 2021 2:23pm

Devi from Chennai, India

Aw!! That Sun looks awesome....The image looks great. It was very interesting to read your long note.
This IS an enchanting image ! Bravo :))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

1 Apr 2021 2:42pm

B. Thomas from Arlington, Texas, United States

Amazing sunburst. Those rocks deserve the color shot. Very nice work.

1 Apr 2021 2:52pm

lisl from Winsley, United Kingdom

Very well worth the experimenting, Steven. The colours are superb, too

1 Apr 2021 3:11pm

Jason Kravitz from Brussels, Belgium

Sedona is a great place to revisit any time! I love these little surprises just waiting to be discovered in our troves of archived photos. Seems like maybe you could also do some kind of gradient filter right to left to bring out more detail in the rocks but stay darker on the sun side as to not blow it out.

1 Apr 2021 3:46pm

@Jason Kravitz: Thanks, Jason!

omid from mashhad, Iran

such beautiful composition, clouds, colors & lighting!

1 Apr 2021 5:43pm

Willem from Noord-Scharwoude, Netherlands

A fantastic backlight image, I like the little HDR editing as a result.

1 Apr 2021 6:59pm

Mhelene from Villiers-sur-Marne, France

Superb photo and work ! oh yes you did well to dive into your photographic treasures ...!

1 Apr 2021 7:34pm

Ray. B from Charentes-Poitou, France

Wouah.... Rayonnement et couleurs superbes. C'est magique.

1 Apr 2021 7:54pm

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

A beautiful composition. I would like to see this in B&W.

1 Apr 2021 8:52pm

Don from Spokane, United States

It certainly a surprise to me.

1 Apr 2021 9:40pm

Elaine Hancock from Olney, United States

This is gorgeous! I love the sunburst! What a great surprise to find it! I have had to do the same thing - digging way back to find pictures.

1 Apr 2021 11:20pm

Diane from Parksville, Canada

It was good that you bracketed. If you use Lightroom, you can always maintain the nice flare but selectively adjust the colours that you mentioned you didn't wish to overdo.
I like to sometimes go through some of my older photos as well. I often find that I 'redo' any touch ups I may have done originally. It's a great exercise. I bet you have some wonderful memories from that trip.

2 Apr 2021 12:01am

Michael Rawluk from Williams Lake, BC, Canada

Oh, my. That is superb shot. Keep digging through the archives.

2 Apr 2021 12:49am

jeanmadis from Chonburi, Thailand

Après ce traitement surprenant, tu ne peux qu'être satisfait du résultat.
Les couleurs sont belles et les contrastes plutôt bien équilibrés.
La manoeuvre était pourtant périlleuse.

2 Apr 2021 2:23am

Harry from Apex, NC, United States

excellent result. there is still a fair amount of color, and there SHOULD be less less color than a full daylight shot. And it would be very hard to make and color look realistic close to and under the rays.

2 Apr 2021 3:27am

Ginnie Hart from Netherlands

All your hard work has paid off,Steven,and you can be proud of this. You've reminded me that I have surely HUNDREDS of back photos I could peruse to see if I can find something useful...during these days of no travel!

2 Apr 2021 5:22am

Akbar&Armaghan from Gorgan, Iran

A M A Z I N G!!

2 Apr 2021 9:08am

Willy from Belgium

magnifique avec ce traitement Steven !

bonne journée

2 Apr 2021 9:37am

Marjolein from Westvoorne, Netherlands


2 Apr 2021 12:10pm

Remus from Portugal

I think it was an unmissable moment, and it would be a mistake if you didn't try to take pictures.
I'm glad you did. And despite everything, I think it was very successful.

2 Apr 2021 5:46pm

omar from Hamburg, Germany

So beautiful, fantastic lights and colors

3 Apr 2021 10:13am

Hootin' Anni from United States

Happy Easter to you and your loved ones!

3 Apr 2021 10:47am

Jean-Louis Guianvarc'h from Valence d'Albigeois, France

C'est éblouissant et magnifique! Quel moment!

3 Apr 2021 5:59pm

Elizabeth Buckalew from Flagstaff, United States

This is an excellent result... just beautiful, Steven!!

5 Apr 2021 2:21am

sherri from Little Rock, Arkansas, United States

it's quite stunning

5 Apr 2021 7:33pm

This image has been featured in 1 Remix collection.

REMIX20#3 by Florence Maugendre