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Enlightenment Photo Contest SECOND PLACE Winner
0.8sec at f14
Glacier National Park was an incredible success for us. We were able to capture some of the most impressive light shows I've ever seen. This is one of them. A few minutes earlier, the rays of the sun began to stream through this little gap in the clouds. At first, the rays were contained to a small area far away on the mountainside. The valley was veiled in mist and lacked the contrast that would make a truly beautiful image. But as the sun dropped towards the horizon, more beams of light escaped from behind the clouds - and the mist filtered and reflected the light to create this ethereal scene.

I used a GND filter to bring down the sky in this image. Shooting into the sun can be disastrous, but with careful processing I was able to recreate the scene in all it's glory.

© Varina C. Patel
Canon EOS 20D Digi...

Cathy Laurenzi
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member since: 7/5/2006
    Incredible photo!

9/16/2007 5:05:13 PM

Deborah C. Lewinson
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member since: 12/25/2003

Stunningimage, Varina!!!

9/16/2007 5:20:25 PM

Susana Heide
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member since: 7/30/2003

Varina, the lighting and exposure are truly MAGNIFICIENT!!!

9/16/2007 5:23:15 PM

Rolando Rosito
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member since: 2/6/2007

Stunning image here, what a show of light as you said.

9/16/2007 5:30:10 PM

Linda M. Mishler
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member since: 6/27/2007

Varina~ This is an absolutely gorgeous photo! I love the capture of the sunbeams on this and the variance of color is awesome!
Linda =)

9/16/2007 5:44:11 PM

Chuck Bruton
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member since: 9/2/2007

It's an "Oh,WOW!" shot, beautiful.

9/16/2007 5:56:24 PM

Lindley Johnson
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This is stunning, Varina! Glorious light and color with terrific composition - wonderful work!

9/16/2007 7:08:39 PM

Susan M. Campbell
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member since: 5/6/2004

The lighting is so wonderful...what a gorgeous scene!!

9/16/2007 9:51:09 PM

Tim G. Stout
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member since: 9/8/2007

Very well done! Absolutely Stunning!

9/17/2007 10:06:51 AM

Karolyn J. Seeley
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member since: 8/24/2006

wowzer.....great lighting, well captured shot!

9/20/2007 6:29:51 AM

Dennis Walton
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member since: 3/18/2006

An uplifting photo. Well done!

10/23/2007 7:47:04 AM

Mick Burkey
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member since: 9/19/2005

As others have said ... Stunning! Great timing on this beautiful image, Varina. I will certainly check out your other shots. Thanks!

10/23/2007 10:46:31 AM

Kay E. Mahoney
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member since: 4/23/2003

Congratulations on your finalist.

11/26/2007 7:54:07 PM

Linda M. Mishler
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member since: 6/27/2007

Again...stunningly gorgeous!! Congrats!!

11/26/2007 7:57:10 PM

Dennis Walton
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member since: 3/18/2006

I am glad this one made it into the finals. Beautifully done.

11/27/2007 5:30:27 PM

randy dannheim
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member since: 4/21/2006

Varina, congrats on your second place win - this beautiful.

11/27/2007 8:41:19 PM

Darryl Wilkinson

member since: 10/8/2005

Fascinating, indeed! Congratulations on your win, Varina!!

11/27/2007 9:32:35 PM

Lisa J. Boulden
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member since: 12/2/2006

Gorgeous WINNER!!!

11/27/2007 10:21:11 PM

Evy Johansen
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member since: 6/16/2002

So beautiful! Big congratulations on your win, Varina!

11/27/2007 10:31:41 PM

Varina C. Patel
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member since: 9/15/2006

I am honored to have been chosen as a winner in this contest. Thanks to all of you for your congratulations and encouragement. I appreciate it enormously.

11/28/2007 9:14:24 AM

Milan Banik
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member since: 11/10/2005

awesome shot .congratulations

11/28/2007 10:17:58 AM

Tarun Bose
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member since: 2/25/2006

Big big congrats Varina for your second prize winner. Well done.

11/28/2007 10:49:47 AM

Lynn Haack
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member since: 3/10/2007

Excellent title for an excellent WINNER! CONGRATS....Lynn

11/28/2007 2:13:04 PM

Amanda Chapman
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member since: 4/10/2007

Absolutely BEAUTIFUL ♥

12/1/2007 7:23:57 AM

Sharon  Day
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Gorgeous photography, Varina!!! Your scenics are nothing short of amazing! You and Jay do beautiful work! Congratulations on your win!

12/2/2007 5:35:24 AM

Bill Houghton
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This is beautiful work Varina. Congratulations on your win. Bill

Check out my website at:

Bill Houghton Photography

12/4/2007 1:45:16 PM

Susan Cliett
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member since: 3/18/2003

Varina, This photo is beautiful, a work of art!! Congratulations!

12/5/2007 7:26:53 AM

Marti de Alva

member since: 5/9/2002

Congratulations Varina! This looks like Logan Pass -- always dramatic, never the same. You captured this one beautifully ~ definitely a prize winner!

This image is dramatic proof of the benefits of using a GND filter. I bought one, but have yet to incorporate it into my shooting workflow. Do you make any in-camera adjustments when using it?. How does using a GND filter effect your metering?

12/5/2007 7:27:30 AM

Varina C. Patel
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member since: 9/15/2006

Thanks for your very kind words, Marti. You are correct - it is Logan Pass. It is not necessary to make in-camera adjustments when shooting with a GND filter. I simply place the filter over the lens and meter the scene as usual. It takes some experience to know which filter to use and when, but it's not difficult once you get the hang of it. I used a .6 soft filter for this shot. It brings down the light by 2 stops at the darkest point, and the density fades slowly. A hard filter would create a harsh line between dark and light areas. You can choose a higher or lower density according to your lighting conditions - and you can overlap filters if necessary.

I hope this helps!

Varina Patel

12/5/2007 7:38:32 AM

Donna LaMattino Pagakis
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Outstanding scenic, great winning image. The lighting is so beautiful. Congratulations on your win and PhotoFlash feature!

12/5/2007 8:19:24 AM

Marti de Alva

member since: 5/9/2002

  Light Shiines in the Darkness
Light Shiines in the Darkness
This was an evening shot at Ninepipe Refuge in the Mission Valley of Montana. A film scan worked in PS.
© Marti de Alva
Canon EOS Elan 7/7...
Thank you for your response Varina. I only have one -- and am not even sure I have all I need for using it. (I bought it used somewhere.) But you've inspired me to figure it out.

By the way, I looked at both the images in your gallery here, as well as your website. It would be hard to miss the impact of your experiences at the moments when you are clicking the shutter. Your compositions, feel for the dramatic light, and your skill at rendering that experience are awesome!

Here is a film scan, worked in PS to maximize detail in highlights & shadows. I like it, but look forward to seeing how much more gradations of tone can be found....

12/5/2007 8:25:43 AM

Brad Mangas

member since: 9/6/2007

Varina, this is an absolute Beautiful imagae! One I would be proud to hang on my wall. Congratulations on your Win, very deserving.

12/5/2007 10:38:39 AM

Autum Rhoades
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member since: 4/1/2005

Beautiful, Varina! This is one of our favorite places to visit. I used to live near there. GREAT work on this!

12/5/2007 11:10:43 AM

Ariel Lepor
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member since: 9/8/2005

Very beautiful scene. Congratulations!

12/6/2007 5:49:42 PM

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