McDowell Mountain Sunrise

© Paul D.

McDowell Mountain Sunrise

Susan Weisensel 3/9/2011 10:29:22 AM

Gorgeous sunrise Paul. #1359398

Nikki McDonald 3/9/2011 10:42:27 AM

Stunning. I love the backlighting on the cactus and of course the sunrays. Excellent clarity, too. Beautiful image, Paul. #9282121

Liz blahh 3/9/2011 10:43:35 AM

Beautifully captured! Love the Cholla when the sunlight hits it. #9282124

Carolyn M. Fletcher 3/9/2011 11:24:24 AM

Outstanding! I love this! #9282218

Paul D. 3/9/2011 12:44:21 PM

Thanks all, glad you like it. I was concerned that the sun was too near the center of the frame, but I couldn't pan any farther right because the terrain wasn't very pretty, too bare and rocky. So I just went for it as is. #9282294

Ruth Robbins 3/9/2011 12:58:51 PM

Fabulous! #9282308

Paul D. 3/9/2011 2:01:15 PM

Thanks Ruth, and thank you for urging me to post this shot. BTW, I took an iPhone shot of the setup while waiting for the sun to rise, which is did about 2 minutes later, lol! #9282351

Ruth Robbins 3/9/2011 3:20:29 PM

Cool, you enter that if they have another photo of photographers category. #9282457

John E. Steinway 3/9/2011 3:28:51 PM

Terrific image Paul. #9282462

Ruth Robbins 3/10/2011 12:41:19 PM

EP!!! #9283965

Mike R. Howe 3/10/2011 7:23:15 PM

Beautiful work,Paul...Well done!!! #9284551

Robert R. Goodman 3/16/2011 4:15:15 AM

Hi Paul.Beautiful HDR of the McDowell.It been awhile since I've been out by the fort.Great capture indeed!!! #9293831

Ken Smith 3/16/2011 6:34:48 PM

Hey Paul, you've got some great shots in your gallery...and I love the star photos. I would have tried in AZ, but it was a full moon...and yes, I enjoyed the view. Headed to Sedona tomorrow AM with my wife, bed and breakfast. Never been there but heard it's nice! #9294987

Paul D. 3/16/2011 8:31:47 PM

MY gallery has great shots? Are you kidding me ken? I just went through all 13 pages, the images you have on there are unreal, your gallery could be an entire photo course, lol! I was amazed how many images were familiar to me, and then I realized how many were POTDs... I think I lost count somewhere around 15. Man, you never stop shooting, THAT'S an inspiration right there. My camera spends way too much time in the case, need to fix that.

Enjoy Sedona! Sun rises about 6:45am, be ready! ;-) #9295144

Wendy Stevenson 4/11/2011 5:07:18 AM

Gorgeous! Love the rim lighting and shapes of those cacti! Beautiful capture! #9344878

Katarina Mansson 4/11/2011 5:14:15 AM

Stunning capture - congratulations on your POTD! #9344894

Bill Houghton 4/11/2011 5:25:11 AM

Paul, this is an outstanding shot. Congratulations. #9344927

Christopher Budny 4/11/2011 5:26:17 AM

What a beautiful sunrise capture, Paul! The backlighting on the nearest cactus is terrific. And the starburst effect on the sun is spectacular; I don't think I've ever been able to produce such long streaks from high-aperture. (I figured you had a starburst filter on.) Your patience for just the right time has paid off; congratulations on your POTD! #9344929

Shawn Jennings 4/11/2011 5:36:37 AM

Fantastic work, Paul! Congratulations on your POTD! #9344954

Nikki McDonald 4/11/2011 5:45:18 AM

Delighted to see the POTD badge on this beautiful image, Paul. Congratulations. #9344979

Graeme yew Chow 4/11/2011 5:55:30 AM

What a shot ? and truly deserved to get the POTD and the winner next time. Congrats! #9344990

Sue L. Cullumber 4/11/2011 6:01:06 AM

Hi Paul - beautiful. Congrats on you POTD! I'm really familiar with this area, as I hike there all the time - nice capture. #9344997

Debra Booth 4/11/2011 6:19:12 AM

Gorgeous! Congrats on your POTD! #9345028

Bunny Snow 4/11/2011 6:21:40 AM

The whole image is amazing, but the lighting and backlighting cinches the deal.

If this were after sunrise, the impact would be disappointing. And, if it were later in the day, it would be nothing to write home about. But, you captured it at the perfect time, using all the skills you've mastered both prior to snapping the shutter and again in DD. Thanks for the reminder of when this was captured and to use the closed down aperture for the rays of light.

Both your work and skills shine here, Paul. Beautifully captured and processed. This is so well done!!! Congratulations on your POTD!!!!

Symona R. Wood 4/11/2011 6:22:26 AM

WOw!!! Congrats!! I'd love to have this on my wall!!!! #9345039

Carolyn M. DAlessandro 4/11/2011 6:22:57 AM

Good morning Paul!
Congratulations on this awesome image. They speak of the best light and clearly you got it here. It is a WOW image...Bravo Paul, well done!!! #9345041

Gary Sagnor 4/11/2011 6:32:13 AM

Wonderful capture Paul! It was nice to look at this morning on BP's POTD! Caught at the perfect time of day...I love how you planned this and put some thought into it, love the sunburst too!

Linda L. Ruiz 4/11/2011 6:33:46 AM

CONGRATS ON YOU POTD! It was so worth the planning and wait. fantastic #9345060

Karen Celella 4/11/2011 6:45:13 AM

Congratulations on your exceptional POTD, Paul. You captured many aspects of the perfect light all in one shot. The wonderful f/22 star burst, gorgeous rim light and a beautiful landscape. This is a winner! #9345068

Eric Highfield 4/11/2011 6:47:45 AM

A real winner Paul! Congrats, on your POTD! #9345074

Richard M. Waas 4/11/2011 7:36:23 AM

A well deserved POTD!!! Congrats....... #9345136

Michael Kelly 4/11/2011 7:41:34 AM

A real stunner. Congratulations! Well deserved. #9345143

Ruth Robbins 4/11/2011 7:44:57 AM

Awesome!!! #9345151

Karen E. Baumann 4/11/2011 7:51:21 AM

I concur with so many lessons to learn and to put to use. You were there because you knew you wanted to be and you were prepared and now you are reaping the rewards. This is a stunner!!!! Congratulations on your POTD Paul! #9345164

Susan Jane Allen 4/11/2011 8:07:52 AM

Totally amazing! Lovely work! Just goes to show, the early bird gets awesome results! #9345175

Pamela Koch 4/11/2011 8:12:00 AM

A beautiful sunrise photo. Congratulations on a well deserved POTD! #9345180

Kathleen K. Parker 4/11/2011 8:24:32 AM

What a beautiful sunrise landscape! You sure were persistent!! Congratulations, Paul, on your POTD!
kk #9345198

nicole shockley 4/11/2011 8:46:59 AM

Amazing... well worthe the wait. I hope you have this framed somewhere in your house. One of the best shots I have seen yet!!! #9345265

Anne McKinnell 4/11/2011 9:04:43 AM

Gorgeous image Paul, congratulations on your stunning POTD! #9345289

Erica Murphy 4/11/2011 9:20:18 AM

BEAUTIFUL POTD!! I love the backlighting on cactus, so cool. Congratulations!! #9345308

Phillip A. Flusche 4/11/2011 9:34:21 AM

Outstanding capture. Congratulations. I love this one. #9345325

Janice M. Borodezt 4/11/2011 9:44:32 AM


Absolutely gorgeous. You did good. #9345334

Stan Kwasniowski 4/11/2011 9:53:15 AM

Paul, congratulations, both on your reward and your patience to get this image #9345342

Craig W. Myers 4/11/2011 10:04:10 AM

Patience + Preparation = Great Reward Beautiful image. Congrats on the POTD. #9345357

Paul D. 4/11/2011 10:04:25 AM

What an absolute surprise and blessing to wake up to! Thank you ALL, and while I can't reply individually (I can't type that fast, lol), I have read every comment and it is MUCH appreciated. Call me a nut, but I asked the Lord to show me His glory that morning and that scene appeared, it was humbling. And I'm thankful to report that I did NOT run across any rattlers walking to and from that location. ;-) #9345358

roxanne F. clabeaux-michalak 4/11/2011 10:26:25 AM

This is absolutely gorgeous - just perfect. Congratulations on a well-deserved photo of the day! #9345389

Joy Rector 4/11/2011 11:51:23 AM

congrats on the POTD #9345499

Maria Coulson 4/11/2011 12:54:27 PM

Paul, this is beautiful! Congratulations. #9345559

Rona L. Schwarz 4/11/2011 1:31:07 PM

WOW! This is a super spectacular image, Paul!! Everything about it is glorious - the lighting of course is unbelievable, particularly on the front cactus, the starburst of the sun's rays, the landscape colors and wonderful textures - I could go on and on. Now I must go visit your gallery. Congratulations on a truly wonderful POTD! A Winner for sure! #9345616

Richard D. Love 4/11/2011 3:50:11 PM

Congratulations, Paul. Truly a beautiful HDR image. The wait was well worth it.

Rick #9345772

Daniella Puente 4/11/2011 5:14:21 PM

This is a wonderful image! the light is perfect, congrats! #9345853

Cindy Bendush 4/11/2011 6:18:15 PM

Gorgeous Paul! Congrats on getting this shot and congrats on your POTD! #9345910

Deborah C. Lewinson 4/11/2011 6:20:42 PM

Congratulations on your POTD, Paul, for this stunning image!

Debby #9345915

Ken Smith 4/11/2011 7:02:52 PM

Hey Paul...way to go!! Congrats on your POTD>..very well deserved! #9345985

Paul D. 4/11/2011 8:07:02 PM

Roxanne Joy Maria Rona Richard Daniella Cindy Deborah, I really appreciaste your kind words, thanks!

Ken, how about that, you and I took shots in the same month, same state only about 90 minutes apart in distance and they become POTDs in the same week. How neat! I'm still amazed. #9346086

Paul D. 4/11/2011 8:08:57 PM

Oh, and I should have also said same subject matter and same camera, lol! #9346088

Denny E. Barnes 4/11/2011 9:40:29 PM

Perfect timing and exposure, Paul!! Such a beautiful and outstanding image well deserves the POTD!! Congratulations!! #9346138

Donna La Mattino Pagakis 4/12/2011 12:56:22 AM

Beautiful scenery, glorious lighting and image. Congratulations on your POTD Paul!! #9346236

Gary Lange 4/12/2011 6:26:40 AM

Terrific image, well timed and nice light! Great HDR work. #9346715

Jeff Robinson 4/12/2011 3:19:00 PM

Outstanding work Paul - Congrats on your Well Deserved POTD!! #9347533

Paul D. 4/12/2011 3:44:26 PM

D, D, G & J: Thanks!! #9347584

Paul D. 4/18/2011 8:35:37 PM

BTW, I doubt they'll see this comment, but I want to thank the BP staff for picking this one for a POTD, it's VERY much appreciated. #9357843

Ken Smith 4/26/2011 7:23:50 PM

You da man! Congrats Paul!! #9371079

Ruth Robbins 4/26/2011 7:58:15 PM

Congratulations Paulie, you deserve Gold for this. #9371281

Paul D. 4/26/2011 8:18:26 PM

LOL! Ruth & Ken, my two cheerleaders... You saw this before I did! ;-) #9371382

Rona L. Schwarz 4/26/2011 8:53:34 PM

On to Gold, Paul! Super Congrats on this marvelous capture and good luck in the next round! #9371528

Paul D. 4/26/2011 11:52:37 PM

Thanks Rona! We'll see about the gold, there are a bunch of great images this month in the Nature & Landscape category... but I appreciate your comments! #9371909

Renee Doyle 4/27/2011 12:02:10 AM

I'm thinking Gold for sure!! Congratulations Paul! #9371937

Karen Celella 4/27/2011 7:08:02 AM

Congratulations on your wonderful finalist, Paul! #9373003

Shawn Jennings 4/27/2011 8:53:08 AM

Congratulations on this fantastic finalist, Paul! #9373461

Susan Weisensel 4/27/2011 8:55:26 AM

Congrats Paul. #9373466

Paul D. 4/27/2011 10:06:33 AM

Thank you all! The response is overwhelming, I don't know what to say... funny, I had asked a friend (Ruth, her comments above) if I should post this image. I'm glad she said yes! Thanks again. #9373659

Diane E. Deming 4/27/2011 5:07:50 PM

WOW! What can I say, but just an exceptional photo. Your patience paid off with a spectacular image! #9374889

Bojan Bencic 4/27/2011 10:54:13 PM

Fantastic light and tone, Paul. Congratulations on your win! #9375553

Katarina Mansson 4/27/2011 11:18:20 PM

Congratulations on your outstanding winner Paul! The light and POV are exceptional, tones and comp excellent - all beautiful. #9375630

Mary K. Robison 4/27/2011 11:23:09 PM

All your patience paid off, Paul ~
CONGRATULATIONS on your well earned First Place Winner! #9375652

Graeme yew Chow 4/28/2011 12:23:33 AM

Hi Paul. I really like your image and especially with the HDR , you did it incredibly. Congratulations and thanks for your wonderful comments.

Renee Doyle 4/28/2011 1:07:35 AM

Knew it :-) Big congrats on this most deserving win Paul!! #9375825

Ellen Hodges 4/28/2011 3:49:08 AM

Huge congrats on this stunning winner!! #9376003

Christopher Budny 4/28/2011 4:01:32 AM

Congratulations on your win now, too! This comes as no surprise for such a beauty! #9376040

Ken Smith 4/28/2011 5:25:23 AM

The photo that keeps on giving...congrats on your well deserved win, Paul..and let's hope it scores well in the Outdoor Photography contest too! #9376487

nicole shockley 4/28/2011 5:35:20 AM

Congrats on the WIN!! I knew it would go all the way, its to amazing not too! You give us all inspiration! :) #9376515

Linda D. Lester 4/28/2011 5:38:49 AM

Just beautiful....Congratulations on your first place win. #9376527

Terry Cervi 4/28/2011 6:02:08 AM

All your trouble sure paid off with this incredible photo, Paul!! Congrats on your stunning First Place win! #9376608

Ruth Robbins 4/28/2011 6:11:24 AM

FIRST PLACE!! Awesome Paulie, Congratulations. You deserve it. #9376633

Usman M. Bajwa 4/28/2011 7:00:17 AM

What a fabulous image, Paul. Double CONGRATZ on the POTD and your First Place GOLD, WTG!!

UB. #9376748

Nancyj E. Hovey 4/28/2011 7:05:55 AM

on your POTD & FIRST PLACE WINNER!!!! 8o) #9376769

Debra R. Harder 4/28/2011 7:27:36 AM

This is incredibly BEAUTIFUL, Paul! I saw this superb image in the Outdoor Photography magazine contest and I knew it would win something here. Huge congratulations on your OUTSTANDING FIRST PLACE WIN!! Deb #9376861

Bill Houghton 4/28/2011 8:33:51 AM

Paul, congratulations on your beautiful win. Have a great day, Bill

If you have time, check out my website:
Bill Houghton Photography


Jeana Clark 4/28/2011 9:56:02 AM

Congratulations Paul for this well deserved First Place Winner!!!!

~J~ #9377256

Irene Colling 4/28/2011 10:10:17 AM

A stunning beauty Paul. Your skillfull capture of this backlit scene certainly deserves a gold award.

Congratulations Paul. #9377303

Paul D. 4/28/2011 10:11:49 AM

Thank you EVERYONE. This is my first gold (and POTD) so I'm definitely not used to all the amazing responses, but again I do read every one and am very grateful! (to the BP Judges as well) #9377311

Paul D. 4/28/2011 10:22:02 AM

Ruth, thank you for urging me to post this (I emailed her last month and asked if it was too boring before posting... her reply was "Paulie! Enter that!", lol)

Ken, thanks, although I still think your Monument Valley shot is more stunning! ;-) Funny thing about Outdoor Photographer, I had submitted it to their contest last month and then totally forgot about it. OP doesn't email you if you gain Finalist, I just happened to look last week and saw it, THEN remembered I even entered it! Honestly, I think my noggin truly is cement sometimes, lol. #9377341

Phyllis H. Burchett 4/28/2011 10:44:28 AM

Congrats on this fantastic first place winner Paul! #9377422

Karen Celella 4/28/2011 11:12:51 AM

Congratulations on your amazing first place winner, Paul! #9377488

Rodrigo Barsallo 4/28/2011 2:34:02 PM

The waiting was very well rewarded. 20 seconds !!. Great, congratulations. #9377938

Merna L. Nobile 4/28/2011 4:55:25 PM

Take photo, Sleep
Edit photo, Sleep
Received award, stop sleeping

Paul D. 4/28/2011 4:59:17 PM

Thanks all! (Merna, you crack me up... lol!) #9378259

Rolando Rosito 4/28/2011 7:54:56 PM

Very deserving winner Paul, congratulations!! #9378636

Rona L. Schwarz 4/28/2011 8:39:59 PM

No surprise here at all, Paul - a most deserving First Place Winner, for sure! HUGE CONGRATULATIONS ON A SENSATIONAL, STUNNING IMAGE! #9378659

Joannie Bertucci 4/28/2011 10:48:13 PM

Paul, your First Prize win is absolutely mind bending! Congratulations on this fabulous First Prize! #9378799

Lisa J. Boulden 4/29/2011 7:49:26 AM

A stunning first place winner!
Well worth the wait and effort!
~♥~Lisa #9379538

Shawn Jennings 4/29/2011 6:29:00 PM

Congratulations on your win, Paul! #9380467

Patti Coblentz 4/29/2011 7:22:14 PM

Amazing light, tones, and dof, Paul...congratulations on all fronts...this is a spectacular image! WTG! #9380536

Paul D. 4/29/2011 8:48:29 PM

Thank you, Rolando through Patricia, all of these comments mean a LOT, seriously. Planning for and going after this image was a neat project! I'm most thankful to our Creator, for He made the conditions just right that morning (and gives us all of our abilities)... my job was to just show up and capture it. #9380595

Emile Abbott 4/30/2011 11:36:04 AM

Fantastic morning light capture an Congratulation on your first place winner Paul #9381430

Martha R. Mazon 5/10/2011 7:17:35 AM

Amazing image, Paul!! The light on the cacti is incredible. I for one very much appreciate your months of planning and perfect execution in your moment of opportunity. :) Congratulations! #9397796

David M. Montero 5/11/2011 1:01:57 PM

Terrific capture and lighting Paul. Congratulations on your first place selection. #9399955

Lori Carlson 5/12/2011 6:59:22 PM

Congrats on all your recognition with this beauty, Paul!!
And thanks for sharing your experience~it's one of my favorite things about BP!!
Great work! Way to inspire! =) #9402063

Summer A. Kozisek 5/16/2011 12:48:34 PM

Fantastic image Paul with wonderfully natural HDR work. Well worth the wait!!! Congrats on your recent POTD as well! #9407574

Val Feldman 5/20/2011 7:43:08 AM

A BIG congrats also on the superb write-up in June's issue of "Popular Photography" of this beautiful capture being chosen as the winner of the Photo Challenge - Kudos, all around! :) #9416892

Paul D. 5/20/2011 3:47:59 PM

Thank you everyone, the comments and been BEYOND kind! Val, congrats, you were the first one to notice PP, lol. I have to see if it's in the store yet! It's still hard to drink in the attention on this image, it is SO appreciated. #9417861

Paul D. 5/23/2011 11:24:59 PM

I do have to clarify one thing: I was wrong in my description here and in the text I sent to Popular Photography: this was a SIX-shot HDR merge, not four like I stated here and eight like I stated in Pop Photo.

I seriously need more sleep, lol. #9424951

Paul R. Nelson 6/27/2011 10:23:20 PM

Paul, I would like to join the others in congratulating you on the success you've had with this image and the well-deserved accolades; your vision, preparation and persistance paid off.

I would also like to applaud you in giving credit to God for this beautiful image of His Creation and to thank you for sharing your prayer request that morning. His answers can sometimes lead to unexpected Blessings. #9490920

Ann Varley 9/14/2011 10:02:16 PM

It may be months after the fact, but allow me a moment to ring in my praise on this glorious image too!

I stumbled on your amazing collection of images when visiting your Snow Bird view tonight, my old winter stomping ground.

Amazing work ... congratulations! #9672031

Laura E. Swan 1/25/2012 1:01:41 AM


There is a special touch of magic in this image. The viewer can feel it immediately. The light is inspiring and clean. The star-burst is perfect like God himself...and he lit up his desert creation just for you and allowed you to share it with the rest of us!

How lucky is anyone who has the chance to see this? I count myself in!

-Laura Swan

Paul D. 5/2/2016 5:02:48 PM

Can't believe 5 years has passed since I took this, lol. #11469533

Paul R. Nelson 5/2/2016 6:00:13 PM

And God is still Good! #11469562

Ruth Robbins 5/2/2016 6:05:05 PM

Really cool to see this Paulie. I got one too. :) #11469569

Paul D. 5/2/2016 9:14:16 PM

Paul Nelson, AMEN, you can say THAT again!

RUTH!! I know, I know, WAYYYYY too long since we yakked, so glad you popped on, I didn't even think about notification emails, lol. AWESOME on getting a pick, which photo was it?? DUH, I can go look... ;-) #11469657

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This morning's sunrise, 4-shot HDR merge, then standard Curves/Levels/Sat/Sharpen, etc. No filters. The long sunrays are due to the narrow aperture and longer exposure time. I waited for months for the sun to rise at this spot, and when it did, I had about 20 seconds to fire off the four exposures... after that it was too high and too bright!

16-35mm @24mm, f/14, ISO 100.

Uploaded on 3/9/2011 9:51:14 AM

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