Mystery Mountain

comments 21
Abstract / California / ICM / Impressionism / Inspiration / Landscape / Photo Log / Photography


July 12, 2020 — Marin County Headlands, California

I did a lot of ICM pans while waiting for the comet NEOWISE to appear over Mount Tamalpais on July 12. The RAW file of this shot had been sitting in archives since then, several times passed over as an also-ran. Today I saw it with new eyes. It had potential.

Every single element took part in the slow pixel dance, changing color, tone, and contrast relationships with their partners many times over. Eventually each one found its place. While I was working, the computer’s fan turned on every now and then, sounding like a gentle breeze blowing through the native grass and coastal scrub.

While yesterday’s picture was a very small crop of its original frame and was ready after about a half hour of processing, this one is the full frame with no crop other than about one degree of straightening — and about two and a half or three hours of processing until we all agreed this was no longer a loosely organized bunch of pixels, but truly a picture.

It proofs nicely at 20 by 30 inches (51 x 76 cm) and can grow to more than twice that size with no ill effect

(Nikon D850, Nikon 24-120mm f/4G VR. ISO 64, 6 seconds at f/4. 10-stop neutral density filter. RAW processing and initial editing in DxO PhotoLab 3.3; Final editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

The Author

California based fine-art photographer featuring abstract, impressionist, and minimalist seascapes — near and distant — and floral-based images. Fine-art photography can be seen at All original images on this blog are copyright 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 Michael Scandling. All rights reserved. No images on this site may be copied, duplicated, reused, published, or re-purposed in any way without express permission from the copyright owner, Michael Scandling.


  1. Gary Zweig says

    Wow Different and a beauty! Should be in a staged house. Time to market all this good work!

    I am doing redos of some color images to B/W if they lend themselves to change. Loving the result.

    Also want a lightweight super camera/ lenses for retirement and open to thoughts.

    FYI, did upgrade to Sony RX100 series 7 always remembering your comments.

    White Pelicans are in Baylands!

    Liked by 1 person

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