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Shooting Stars by Moonlight - Moonlight Lake, Sabrina Basin, High Sierra  (Explored - Thanks!) | by Joshua Cripps
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Shooting Stars by Moonlight - Moonlight Lake, Sabrina Basin, High Sierra (Explored - Thanks!)

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There is nothing quite like the Sierras in the summertime. To me, all the soaring granite spires, shimmering lakes, trickling streams, verdant meadows, and rampaging wildflowers create a paradise which seems to melt my brain with its beauty. Maybe it's the altitude, but once I cross the 10,000 foot altitude line and see all that stark Sierra beauty, all my coherent thought processes break down and I'm left standing there, gibbering like an idiot. At least my fingers still work and I can press the buttons on my camera.


Here's a shot of shooting stars growing around the shores of Moonlight Lake in the Sabrina Basin out of Bishop, California. Want to see more? Make sure to check out the video down below!


And a big thanks to Khristian Snyder, whose images of the Sabrina Basin inspired me to go there in the first place!



Tech notes on this photo


Nikon D7000

Tokina 12-24 f/4 at 12mm on a crop sensor

ISO200 to help with a faster shutter speed to freeze the flowers

f/9 - sharpest spot on my lens, allows for sufficient DOF on a crop sensor while allowing me to increase my shutter speed

1/30 second to freeze the flowers

Lee 3-stop and 2-stop soft GND filters




In Raw Converter (Nikon Capture NX2)

- Processed single raw file twice, once for majority of image and once to brighten midground which had been overly darkened by my GND filters

- Slightly darkened and added contrast to mountains


In Photoshop:

- Hand blend of two tiffs for master composite

- Selective sharpening of flowers, boulders, and mountains

- Curves adjustment to add global contrast to foreground

- Curves adjustment to slightly darken mountains

- Dodge and burn layer filled with 50% gray and set to soft light

- Duplicated stamped image and set to soft light, selectively painted in water for more pop

- Hue/Saturation layer to bump overall saturation, plus additional saturation of magentas for the flowers.


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Taken on August 22, 2011