Zion's Night Watchman (new version)
This was shot back in April obviously in Zion NP, UT. It is a two shot blend. One file for almost the entire image (very high ISO) and another to clean up the noise mainly in the shadows (low ISO). Once in a great while H2 (25,600 ISO - and using the in camera noise reduction/black frame to reduce the noise) surprises me with its ability to do a good job for stars and such. That coupled with the newest algorithms in ACR for noise reduction can sometimes do a good job even for print.
The unique colorations (like the RED in the tree on the right) are not embellishments but the indirect reflective lighting from car headlights and break lights far away in the valley throwing light into different parts of the scene. In the raw file the saturation of those areas is much more prominent so I sponged (in Color Mode) down the area(s) to lower their prominence. Because 80% of the purchasers of fine art landscape gallery prints are women decorating their homes I did a test group of women and asked them if they thought the red tree should be subdued more (or the red eliminated altogether) and all were a resounding "NO!" So, to cater to my main market, I kept it red...
Oh and because of the season, I was ALL ALONE shooting this! I can not stand the Zion crowds!!!
Canon 5D Mark2
Base exposure: 38 seconds at 25,600 ISO and f/2.8 (with in camera noise reduction/black frame on)
Secondary exposure for shadow blending: 30 seconds at 100 ISO and f/5.6 (shot a little earlier)
As always thank you for for comments and feedback.