HDR on the Cloudy Windy Mogollon Rim

Tonight I worked on a few of the photos that I took on our recent camping trip.  These were all taken on the Mogollon Rim in central Arizona on September 8, 2010.  It just happened to be mostly cloudy, a little rainy and VERY windy that day.  I had taken my camera and the tripod with me to get some shots from the edge of the Rim near Woods Canyon Lake, but with the wind blowing so hard, I knew that it was going to be difficult, if not impossible, to get any decent HDR images from the bracketed sets.  The tree limbs, grasses, and flowers were swaying back and forth so wildly that it’s impossible to get them perfectly aligned in a single image.  Heck, even the clouds were moving so quickly across the sky that the motion was obvious in the HDR image.

At first, I wasn’t even going to fool with processing these shots, but then I started thinking….the rugged rocks and boulders in the foreground of the pictures weren’t moving.  Perhaps a little ghosting in the foliage would just add some interesting texture to the image.  Well, at least that’s how I reasoned with myself when I produced these images tonight.  They were all done in Photomatix Pro, with post-processing in Paintshop Pro X3.  Enjoy!

Mogollon Rim 2010.09.08_007

Mogollon Rim 2010.09.08_006

Mogollon Rim 2010.09.08_005

Mogollon Rim 2010.09.08_004

Mogollon Rim 2010.09.08_003

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The Mogollon Rim on a Cloudy Day

I’m still going through photographs that I took on our camping trip in early September.  On the third day we were there, we drove from the campground over to the Rim Road that leads to Woods Canyon Lake.  It was quite windy that day which made it hard to do any bracketed shots for HDR’s.  All the tree branches, grasses and bushes were swaying back and forth so much that it’s hard to get a good composite image that doesn’t have a lot of blurry action in it.  Maybe I’ll play with some of them someday, but not today.

So I’ve taken some of the single images and processed them to see what I could get.  Here are a couple that caught my eye:

Wildflowers in the Crevices

Highway of Light

Both of these show how cloudy it was that day, but they don’t convey just how windy it was.  Regardless, it was still a beautiful day to be up on the Rim, enjoying the beauties of the high country in Arizona.  These photos were shot with the Nikon D5000 with the kit lens (18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6 G), tripod mounted, in raw NEF format.  They were processed to JPG in Paintshop Pro X3.

To see other shots from our camping trip, check out the set Camping at Canyon Point on Flickr.  You might also enjoy the images of the star trails that I took while we were away from the city lights!