Daily Inspiration #37 by Ashwin Rao

Here is an image by one of this sites terrific guest writers, Ashwin Rao! Ashwin submitted this a few weeks ago and I was amazed by the clarity, the color and the brilliance. Super shot Ashwin! He said the image was taken at 7:35 AM, just before sunrise with the Leica M9 and 75 Summicron at F2 and ISO 400. Pretty impressive! To see more of his work, check out Ashwin’s blog HERE. Thanks Ashwin!


  1. Rick,
    My modifications were to use a grad ND filter applied through Lightroom 2.0 to enhance the foreground, along with some slight noise reduction to the shadows, also in LR 2.0. I may have used a slight bit of burning on the needle, but it was slight. I love and use NIK often, but actually did not use it here. The sky had that crazy color. The sun had not yet risen about the Cascade Mountain range, so the sky was light up, while the foreground was still light by the clouds that otherwise dominated the image… No color casts were applied.

    Regardless, I tried to get the image to look as my eyes saw it. I didn’t mod it up too much for fear of turning the photo into artistic abstraction, which was not my particular intent here. Thanks for looking!

  2. Ashwin,
    Looks like some selective enhancements/highlighting may have been done with something like NIK Software, Viveza 2. Highlighting of the sky, tower and other roof apparatus doesn’t look natural. Never saw a skyline look like this. It looks like the mountain on the right is color enhanced with a light green tint. Can easily be done with software. I can’t easily get images directly out of a camera that look like this. Did you do some post processing on this image? Looks like some kind of software was used to enhance. Am I right or wrong? Anyway, nice shot

  3. Thanks for the kind words to everyone. Yes, the mountain/volcano in the background is the mighty Mount Rainier. In the NW, it’s also known as the disappearing mountain, as it is often found to be hiding behind a veil of clouds/atmosphere, or gasp, occasionally haze.
    I got lucky with the shot. That day, we had about 15 min of sunlight, all centered about sunrise, so it made for some fascinating colors. Thanks to you all for looking!

  4. so many layers to the shot, the buildings with a nice focal in the middle, the sky, the huge mountain, great shot.

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