Mono Lake Volcanic Crater Sunset

This image has a fascinating history behind it.

I originally took this image in 2011 using my Canon 20D.  I was camping in Lee Vining with an old friend, and we were traipsing around near sunset in the back roads south of Mono Lake.  I saw this incredible scene, and started clicking away like a madman.  I took single shots and panorama shots (multiple overlapping portrait images), and was certain I had a fabulous image in my camera.

When I got back home and uploaded the images to my computer, I was shocked and disappointed.  They were terrible looking!  Flat, colorless, just plain yucky.  So, I just left them there, and did nothing with them.

In 2016, I purchased a new software title, Luminar, by Macphun Software.  I had purchases previous versions of their software, and this was a major upgrade, integrating most of their separate applications into one great application.  By 2017, they had enhanced it multiple times, and I was amazed how I could take images that looked – frankly – awful, into amazing, beautiful pieces of image art.

I was searching through my image database, and ran across these images form Mono Lake, and decided to give them a try.  First, I stitched the panorama together using Photoshop.  Now, I had a bigger image that still looked terrible.  So, into Luminar the image went…

This is the result that you see.  I cannot express the jubilation and excitement I experienced as I adjusted away and restored this image to the memory I still had of that amazing evening!

I am sure Canon has dramatically improved its image processing by now, certainly Sony has image quality right out of the camera that is stunning even before Luminar.  But the 20D did not function very well for me (maybe I had a lemon).  I sold it to some poor sucker, along with a backpack full of lenses later in 2011, and bought the Sony NEX-5N, with much better image output.

I hope you can feel the quiet and cool evening at Mono Lake in this beautiful photo!  The original is quite large, and makes a fabulous print!

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