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Approaching Denali – Part I

Approaching Denali - Part I

Denali (aka Mt. McKinley) is big. Actually, it is huge! When we circled the peak, our pilot noted our altitude as around 12,000ish feet. That means, the summit we were staring up at towered another 10,000 above our small aircraft. Thoreau or Emerson might have been able to put in to words the sheer magnitude and scale of this mountain. I only have my camera. Over the next 5 days, I will be posting images of our approach to Denali. I hope I can do with my camera, what they would have with words. Heck, I would be happy if my camera could do half of what Thoreau did. Stay tuned for our flight through the foothills, the island in a sea of clouds, final approach, and a lucky break.

For the Adventurers: If you are ever considering visiting Denali and are looking for a quality flight operation, I would recommend Talkeetna Air Taxi. We had an incredibly long and scenic flight. Also, our pilot Richard lands on a glacier like Sully lands on the Hudson…smooooooth!

For the Photographers: I have been part of the new Nik HDR Efex Pro beta test team and using it for several months. This image was completely created using the most recent beta version of the toolset. I got the OK from Nik to post a couple of processing screenshots. You can find them over on twitter. Again, this is only a beta release so there are still some pending cosmetic and preset naming convention changes. I will continue to post information and impressions until the release date. As of now, I can say that is is all that you would think it would be coming from Nik. Intuitive, powerful, and fits very nicely into my workflow.

Capture Notes:

Nikon D700
Nikkor 17-35 AFS
Gitzo Traveler
Nikon 77mm CPII
Lexar UDMA

Processing Notes:

Capture – 8 images @ 1ev
Nik HDR Efex Pro – HDR/Tonemapping (I posted a processing screen shot on twitter)
Photoshop -Tamed a bit of electric red via a slight selective desat adjustment.
Nik Color Efex Pro – ProContrast
Cropped a touch
Sized for web

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  1. Thanks for the shout out Justin – what a beautiful shot!!

    • No sweat. We had a great day. Worth every penny! A day we will never forget. Stay tuned for this week for the rest. There are two great shots of Richard scountin’ the summit!

  2. Julie McLeod says:

    Nothing like this to make me feel ignorant. I’ve often heard the word “Denali” and never realized it was the same as Mount McKinley. Gotta love blogging for the education factor!

    I am in awe of this shot but I’m sure will be even more awed by the coming images….

    • I wasn’t aware of the difference until we decided to visit it. I do hope you enjoy this weeks pics. Please pass along the story to anyone else who might enjoy it.

      Thanks again Julie!

  3. I love those old AK bush planes….

    great shot Justin!

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