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Dragon's Wrath
1st PlaceDragon's Wrath
RianBotes


Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Free Study 2009-12 (Advanced Editing VII)
Camera: Canon EOS-5D Mark II
Lens: Canon EF 24-105mm f/4.0L IS
Location: Drakensburg, South Africa
Date: Dec 23, 2009
Aperture: F6.3
ISO: 100
Shutter: 5s
Galleries: Landscape
Date Uploaded: Dec 30, 2009

[img]C:\Users\Rian\Pictures\ test final[/img][The Drakensberg
Taken in Drakensburg, South Africa. It often get’s referred to as a dragon…(hence Dragons Wrath title) the whole range in Natal province section stretching about 250 km. The range actually stretches through almost all of South Africa but with the highest and most prominent peaks being in Natal.

We were really blessed with good weather. This picture was taken right at the edge of the escarpment +- 12000ft at this point with a drop of about 3000 feet down. It is also situated close to the Tugela falls – (some 900meters high falls)

The storm initially moved towards us and I packed up to take cover in the tent. Surprisingly it turned away from us after gale force winds turned and the weather turned North. Anybody who knows the Berg can relate to the serious thunderstorms and its no joke to be caught in them.

With the weather now turning away I went back with camera and lens. Taking pictures I realised I did not have my ND set with me which for this shot was important as the sky gets blown away and all possible visible bolts with it if I wanted more detail in the valleys below. Ran back to the tent and got it and now thankful I did make the effort. (Had a long day getting to top with my sons as well and being patient with them, but they were stars)

From there it was playing lady luck. The really difficult part was to get filter, F stop combination right with the lightning always changing in intensity. I had to sacrifice dept with my aperture for to close down even more, together with the filters on meant that lightning became to faint to even be of bother. Some bolts have really helped as they would strike and strike again for up to a second long.
Although I had other shots with more bolts in them I preferred this one

Post processing was short and simple. I’m still learning the ropes in this and am a complete cluts when it comes to this part of the Photography and whish I had the skills of some people on this site.
Levels, Contrast, Levelling of horizon which I thought was straight but was not. Little saturation and noise reduction and sharpening. (in downsizing I did sharpen it to much which was kindly pointed out by Paul… a bad habit I have and I slipped up on that again.)
I also did some selective levels on lower half of the scene to get more detail in the landscape. No HDR.

When my wife said check the place…it took some time to register. I am really very thankful for this.

Thanks to all who voted and commented.

With people asking what the original looked like, I have posted not the same one but one with more strikes but have not edited it. basically this is what it looked like before PP. Hope it helps for those who asked.

Statistics
Place: 1 out of 334
Avg (all users): 7.6339
Avg (commenters): 9.0345
Avg (participants): 7.5750
Avg (non-participants): 7.7460
Views since voting: 10766
Views during voting: 383
Votes: 183
Comments: 92
Favorites: 106 (view)


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AuthorThread
03/17/2011 12:42:35 PM
WOW!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/23/2010 09:56:37 AM
Beautiful.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/23/2010 09:01:15 AM
Beuatiful
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/24/2010 01:03:59 PM
Awesome!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/10/2010 06:30:36 PM
Awestruck... You da man!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/08/2010 08:48:39 PM
Very cool picture.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/17/2010 02:47:26 PM
OMG! What a picture! Well done!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/14/2010 11:07:25 PM
Wow!! This is the first image on this site that actually made my jaw drop, Amazing!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/14/2010 06:53:25 PM
This is the best shot I've see here in a long time. Great job.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/13/2010 09:03:12 PM
I would plan my lifes work with the camera around getting this shot. Absolutely stunning.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/13/2010 11:40:23 AM
wow!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/13/2010 04:46:54 AM
Vatso!

Great work from a lover of all-places-South-African!

Warm wishes :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/12/2010 12:32:18 PM
Uitstekend!
Congrats Rian on a magnificent image and deserved Blue. The 'Berg is indeed an incredible place. Tent? Are you off your tree?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/11/2010 06:59:20 PM
Congratulations on the blue ribbon. This shot is absolutely amazing. Glad you put in a detailed story to go with it.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/11/2010 02:35:37 PM
THIS IS STUNNING !!! BIG congratz...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/10/2010 11:36:28 PM
Wonderful scenery made even more awesome by the great clouds and the lighting bolt. Congrats on the blue.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/10/2010 07:56:50 PM
I know I already posted a comment, so I should just edit that... but you won't get a notice if I do, so you probably won't see the edit. Could you post the original so we can see the effect of the post processing? I'm not doubting the quality of the original or assuming you exaggerated with post processing, I'm just curious as I'm not too good with Photoshop either.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/10/2010 10:24:58 AM
Congrats on you PB and blue ribbon... We had a roadtrip from Umhlanga to Bloemfontein on Friday and it took us more than 12 hours due to all the photo opportunities. Fantastic work!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/09/2010 08:02:45 PM
SURREALLY FANTASTIC!! Definitely Nat'l Geographic material and beyond.

Message edited by author 2010-01-09 20:04:36.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/09/2010 07:50:25 PM
It's a fantastic shot! Huge Congrats!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/09/2010 06:52:29 PM
this is amazing!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/09/2010 04:49:04 PM
Absolutely stunning..!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/09/2010 02:38:10 AM
Thank you all for the very kind comments. I really appreciate and all credit goes to my patient wife who allows me to go on hikes. Soon she would have to join me however once my youngest of 4 are able to join in and carry his own backpack. Not long to go. Untill then my 7 and 10 year olds are doing an amazing job at rugging it out in nature and loving it as much as dad. My own dad at 69 I have new respect for since he did make this trip with us..as he has done so on countless of other occasions. He always puts up with my bad cooking and makes the food disappear somewhere over a cliff...(yes I know dad) Eating does not feature to highly on the priority list.
Thanks once again to all. Best whishes for a great 2010. Soccer world cup in SA...what a year we are looking forward to.
Botes family.
01/09/2010 12:43:20 AM
On a scale of 1 to 10 this is a 12.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/08/2010 11:50:19 PM
Wow... wow... wow!

So totally amazing!
Congrats on your new PB and on your first ribbon!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/08/2010 11:15:20 PM
Well, I'm speechless. This is an amazing image, congratulations.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/08/2010 09:13:43 PM
Dude !!! This is an 8+ IMO.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/08/2010 08:51:15 PM
awesome!!
i totally called this one as the winner! lol
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/08/2010 06:54:30 PM
Gorgeous.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/08/2010 03:49:11 PM
Amazing image Very nicely captured and processed. It reminded me storms in Midwest (the only difference is mountains vs. flat corn fields in Midwest)

Congratulations!!!

NaSa
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/08/2010 03:03:56 PM
one of the best here!
well done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/08/2010 02:50:19 PM
I'm going to have to agree with those who said that this is one of the best on DPC, nice score, but personally I think it's still a bit underrated.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/08/2010 02:36:19 PM
Congratulations - the scope and majesty of this shot is simply breathtaking!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/08/2010 02:31:08 PM
Fantastic capture. Majestic. Congratulations.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/08/2010 12:11:42 PM
What a beautiful image. By far one of my most favorite images on this site. Congrats on your Blue.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/08/2010 11:55:22 AM
Looks like a once in a lifetime type of shot. Fantasy material - beautiful.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/08/2010 09:35:05 AM
Oh, YES! A fabulous choice for 1st place. Congratulations on so many levels. There just are no superlatives that express how wonderful this photo is! It should be a National Geographic feature!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/08/2010 07:27:37 AM
Baie geluk. Wonderlike foto. I am so proud to be a South African!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/08/2010 06:56:31 AM
Wow, superb image. It kind of looks like some special effects scene you might see in a Lord of the Rings-type film. Congratulations, indeed.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/08/2010 06:03:23 AM
A Pleasure to be beaten by this wonderful image, excellent!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/08/2010 05:55:26 AM
21_N.gif pjd101 and 21.gif nolito basically summed up my reaction to this.

One of the most amazing shots on DPC. Congrats on a well-deserved 1st. Instant fave.

Message edited by author 2010-01-08 05:57:55.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/08/2010 05:25:07 AM
AWESOME SHOT!!!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/08/2010 05:07:51 AM
awesome shot. a deserving winner
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/08/2010 04:31:13 AM
Bliksems mooi.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/08/2010 04:08:57 AM
Wow that is a stunning shot. Congrats
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/08/2010 03:23:21 AM
WOW WOW WOW - sorry I missed this in voting. Congrats!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/08/2010 03:09:07 AM
Amazing image and well deserved blue! Congrats
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/08/2010 03:07:08 AM
Congratulations to you on your Ribbon winning Free Study...wonderful shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/08/2010 03:01:16 AM
Jis hierdie is 'n fantastiese foto! Baie geluk Rian.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/08/2010 02:34:58 AM
Great, great, great. A stunning shot and a well deserved blue ribbon. Congrats.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/08/2010 02:31:04 AM
Spectacular! I give this an 11!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/08/2010 02:30:06 AM
Mooi man! Congrats on your first ribbon - a Blue in a Free Study. Well done!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/08/2010 01:21:04 AM
What a well deserved first ribbon and a blue one at that. Congrats!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/08/2010 12:42:59 AM
WONDERFUL !!! Well deserved Blue.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/08/2010 12:37:24 AM
Wow that's a beauty! Glad to know there are people here who get the ribbon without too much post-processing!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/08/2010 12:35:26 AM
Grats on the ribbon. VEry nice and great timing :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/08/2010 12:32:20 AM
Congratulations on your blue, stunning shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/08/2010 12:16:44 AM
Wow, just wow. Congrats on the blue, you deserve it
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/08/2010 12:07:28 AM
WTG Rian, first-ever ribbon. This one had blue written all over it.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/08/2010 12:05:48 AM
wow. This is sweet!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/08/2010 12:01:58 AM
Congrats on your First Blue
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
01/07/2010 10:19:25 PM
I'm guessing this will be a ribbon winner (a top-ten for sure). Awesome exposure.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/07/2010 10:06:18 PM
well, I will have to bump this up...this is very "unearthly" like a shot from Lord of the Rings
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/07/2010 09:01:25 PM
Really sets my imagination going. Definitely looks like something out of a fantasy world.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/07/2010 05:53:37 PM
Wow this is so beautiful!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/07/2010 05:46:19 PM
That's unreal. Looks like a top 10 to me...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/07/2010 03:59:51 PM
Stunning image and processing totally exemplary
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/07/2010 12:33:14 PM
Wow! What an amazing scence! 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/06/2010 07:12:31 PM
Stunning photograph. This could almost be a scene from Lord Of The Rings.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/06/2010 05:17:37 PM
Spectacular, but the foreground seems over-sharpened to me. A shame for such a wonderful capture. 8 but should be a 10.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/06/2010 02:52:08 AM
WOW!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/05/2010 10:52:31 AM
beautiful and difficult shot- I also love the processing. Top 5
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/04/2010 10:31:05 PM
stunning 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/04/2010 12:57:05 PM
amazing image! great timing; love the detail foreground
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/04/2010 09:06:07 AM
Whatasdiugaoisubdg/!!??!??? 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/03/2010 08:03:27 PM
Oh my God....that can't be real. If I could vote, this would be an undisputed 10.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/03/2010 12:17:50 PM
Spectacular! 8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/03/2010 09:56:26 AM
One of the best lightning shots I have come acrosss. Looks like some HDR work in here as well. Good luck.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/03/2010 09:39:03 AM
Superb. I expect this will be a ribbon winner. I think I'd loose a tiny bit of the sky at the top.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/02/2010 11:55:43 PM
Wow, can't wait to see the author's notes on how this was done. Great result.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/02/2010 09:36:20 PM
Should be in top 10, IMO. Very dramatic.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/02/2010 08:29:58 PM
Wow. Wonderful shot... 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/02/2010 08:06:26 PM
Outstanding.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/02/2010 05:35:38 PM
Back to comment...

Oh wow! This looks like a scene from a sci-fi movie! Gorgeous! 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/02/2010 03:26:17 PM
I think what draws me so much to this image is not the lighting, but the clarity of stone along with the colour of the dramatic landscape with the hovering clouds far above.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/02/2010 07:01:30 AM
This is the very first picture in the challenge cue. This would be a terrific shot even without the lightning bolt. Looks like an HDR image. I look forward to reading how you put this shot together. Good luck, 10 from me. I don't see how it can get better than this.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/02/2010 12:39:43 AM
Feels like a scene from Lord of the Rings ... Well Done! Obviously, the lightning was a great catch!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/01/2010 03:32:20 PM
They don't get much better than this... Absolutely amazing photo. The depth, breadth, and overwhelming emotion this scene evokes are all incredible. Can't wait to find out what your shutter speed was (and all of the processing & other technical data). Stunning shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/01/2010 02:06:19 PM
Very nice job.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/01/2010 10:23:49 AM
Holy smokes!!!I have to up the score on this one. Phenomenal.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/01/2010 10:03:02 AM
This looks spectacular, it almost looks too good to be true are you sure your PhotoShop skills have not been working overtime :-) i'm sure they haven't and this is a solid 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/01/2010 08:16:08 AM
wtf?? just MAGICAL!
  Photographer found comment helpful.


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