Solar Flare


Description: From my recent trip to the desert southwest. This image was taken as the sun was setting and blasting a low slung wave of warm light across burnt out vegetation with a butte in the background. I was fortunate to get an opening in the clouds because it was raining hard in places and the clouds were ominous, thick and moody. This only lasted about 2 minutes and I only got 3 shots so I could focus stack. I later chose not to focus stack as I like the sharp foreground and softer glow on the butte in the background. This was early Spring when it’s still cold and the newer vegetation hasn’t started to grow in yet. Cows graze in this area and I think you might be able to see some of the cow dung all over the place. It’s remarkable that they were still there eating what little they could find in this free range. As I was driving down the dirt road I first came across a glow that was behind the butte radiating out in all directions and as I was photographing that scene I saw that warm light was hitting the vegetation making it glow about a half mile ahead so I stopped shooting and pulled up to this scene. It was all happening so quickly.

Specific Feedback Requested: Do the colors look ok to you? Could it be warmed up, cooled off? Anything of note on how to improve this?

Thanks for taking a look. I always appreciate the feedback.

Pertinent technical details or techniques: Nikon z7ii, 24-70mm @ 34mm, ISO 80, 1/15th second @ f/14

This is beautiful David.
I love the way you control the light.

This has a nice contrast of warm (sun and foreground) and cool already. It might be worth trying to push both of those a little further, i.e., instead of a global push warmer or cooler making the warm warmer and cool cooler, just to see how it looks. I might also suggest some dodging/burning of the prominent butte to make it stand out a bit more. That said, I like it as is.

A great image! I like a lot the contrast between the warm glowing areas and the clouds the left.

Wow, that is some gorgeous light and the gradient of colour in the sky is quite interesting.

I agree with the others about that great light. I like @DeanRoyer 's idea about opening the buttes some. I played with this in Photoshop and thought it improved the image. (Not a lot, but enough so the details pop a bit in those shadows.)

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Good one. Nice light, composition, like the glowy grass and warm sun compared to the cool sky. Maybe a bit tighter crop on the rock mountain (that’s very nitpicky as the sky adds lots as well)

All in all an excellent image

@joaoquintela , @DeanRoyer , @Ola_Jovall , @Tom_Nevesely , @John_Williams , @andronik. I appreciate all of the feedback and comments. Dean and John, I like the idea of trying to open up the light on the buttes a little bit. I’ll give that a shot. I’m on a three week trip so it may be a little while. Thanks again for always helping improve my images.

Nice image. Looking at the Buttes, I really wanted to see a little more detail. I tried warming up the entire image and I liked the brighter foreground. However, I think my version may have strayed from what you saw and tried to present. Take it with a good shaker full of salt.

David, the mix of warm, inviting light on the foreground set against the dark buttes and threatening sky works very well. This is a fine job of capturing the effects of local storms and spot lighting that are very common in the dry areas of the country.

I think you have brought out the mood in the image very well David.
Wonder if this would have a even higher impact by cutting off some of the grass ( 1/3 rd ) - might bring the action closer to the viewer and also also bring the horizon down a bit
I would be extemely pleased with this David - well done!

Beautiful landscape image David. Of course the light is amazing and a reminder that these moments in nature are fleeting and being able to not only witness, but capture them, are special.

Any suggestions I have would be minor tweeks. Agree about boosting the detail, slightly, in the butter and also maybe enhancing the light/saturation of the open field, but wouldn’t stray too far with the sun and clouds. Oh, looks like a fuzzy bunny in the upper parts of the sunny area just as the warm light starts transitioning to the cooler grays.


I agree! I think just a little bit of dodging on the butte might make it feel more balanced.