Exposing a Big Badlands Sunrise, Badlands National Park

In June, at this latitude, there is not much time between sunset and sunrise. However, at this time of the year, in this location, there are few sunrises and sunsets worth sleeping through.

While driving at a high rate of speed (as permitted by the high posted speed limit on I90) toward the park this morning, I could see the beautiful sunrise color begin to show in the sky and feared being too late. Fortunately, that fear was unfounded.

Near the end of a narrow ridge, the camera could be positioned to capture just the end of that ridge, helping to emphasize the dramatic depth. The 15mm focal length was ideal for this big scene.

The Canon EOS R5 and Canon RF 15-35mm F2.8 L IS USM Lens made this exposure-bracketed capture easy. However, ensuring that the blend between the sky and foreground was void of bright or dark edges while HDR stacking was a bit more challenging. With the foreground carefully separated from the background (in Photoshop), and its brightness reduced by a stop, there is plenty of latitude for changing my mind in a month or 5 years.

While this site's white background is perfect for product photos, it is a touch harsh for sample pictures. Head over to my portfolio site for a larger image on a darker background, a combination that improves especially this image's appearance.


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