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Is There Life on Mars?

Posted by
Darkelf Photography (Perth, Australia) on 6 July 2019 in Landscape & Rural.


As the sunset descended upon Elephant Cove near town of Denmark in Wester Australia back in March, the light, colours and mood turned very much Martian. There were dark stormy clouds moving about and there was also a layer of clouds hanging over the horizon to the west, which filtered the light and enhanced the colours that evening. I was taking photos with my daylight white balance setting and this is the way the were turning out. Deep orange/red tones were prominent in the clouds and reflections. The rest of the scene was also further enhanced by the already rich copper hues of the granite rocks that is area is known for.

I was not really sure for a little while how to approach this photo in processing and presentation. I wanted to share that almost overwhelming intensity of colour but I was worried whether it may look just a bit over the top. I played with a number of different saturation and vibrance combinations to see if they make any difference at all. After all the trials I ended up with colours that look very close to how they looked once imported into Lightroom. I worked a bit on contrast and dodging/burning to give extra depth to the scene, as the overall light was quite diffused and that resulted in low contrast and flat textures.

I will be very interested to hear what you think about this photo almost straight from Mars. Photography is very subjective and I have no doubt that it will not appeal to everyone's aesthetic senses. I do feel that it represents how I saw the scene at that point in time and more importantly how I felt the colour and mood of the evening. Overwhelmed was distinctly how I felt and I could not believe the light and tones surrounding me as I was taking photos. These were very unusual and unique conditions that I have never seen before.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 5/2 seconds F/8.0 ISO 200 31 mm

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