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I took this image while on a hike in the Alps in southern Switzerland on a glorious autumn day. On the way up to Lägh da Bitabergh, the trees on the opposite side of the valley were in full sun. Alpine scenery is always beautiful (particularly to a desk-bound city type), but it was in an ordinary sort of way. However, as we made our way back down the path to Maloja, I noticed how the late afternoon light illuminated some of the trees on the other side of the valley while the surrounding peaks cast others into shadow. I was fascinated by this and spent quite a long time creating different composition, some wider, some zoomed in – so much so that I had to run to catch up to my walking group. This image was my favourite of the series, with the road running like a ribbon through the bottom of the frame.
I only carry a compact camera with me when hiking. The trees were far enough away that I was able to set the widest aperture at the full zoom length. I also used negative exposure compensation to ensure that I retained the highlights of the glowing trees in my raw file and then made small tweaks to the tonal range in Lightroom.