Winter Mountain Sunset

Winter Mountain Sunset Photograph

a winter mountain sunset, the sky ablaze with oranges and reds of the sunset

A winter mountain sunset. The fire-y oranges and reds of the sky were particularly impressive the night I captured this picture. As it alway seems to be when there’s an amazing photo to be taken, the day was bitterly cold, and the more the sun disappeared behind the mountains, the colder it got. Being the shot was taken in the middle of the winter didn’t help with the temperature, yet only in the winter are the skies as brilliant as they were that night.

In order to capture the colour and light in the sky and cloud properly, the foreground had to be under exposed. If I were to have exposed as the camera suggested, the sky would have been washed out, and the foothills and mountains not much better. This way, the colour of the sunset is impressive, and the almost silhouette aspect of the foreground adds to the mood, while letting you see just enough detail to know what’s in the hills and mountains.

The picture was taken on top of a higher hill overlooking the western foothills, directly north of Calgary. Specifically, it was taken on the top of a hill on the western part of Township Rd. 264, immediately west of Highway 772, or Simon’s Valley Rd. On the map, it’s the small rural road near the bottom. I included a wider shot of the map so you could see where it is in relation to a major Alberta road, like the secondary highway, Highway 567.

The shot was captured with a Canon XTi Rebel and a 50mm compact macro lens. The shutter speed was set to 1/4000 of a second, and the aperture f/2.8. The ISO was set to 200. The colours were enriched in Adobe Photoshop, using masks to selectively darken the sky and increase contrast in the colours, and to brighten the foreground up a bit, and remove some of the harsh colour casts caused by the light from the sky the camera was picking up. Ultimately, the edited image ended up looking much more like the actual scene than it did when first captured on the camera.

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