Phu Chi Fa, Chiang Rai Province, Thailand by Andy Gray

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This is a view from Phu Chi Fa, a remote mountainous region of North West Thailand on the Thai/Laos border. I was on a 3-week tour of the country and this was my fifth visit in 20 years.

My intention was to capture the sunrise as the views I had seen on the internet looked spectacular. This would mean a 5am hike involving a 700 metre steep climb to the top. I arrived at 5:30 and picked a spot knowing that there would be a fair few photographers present. The sun had not yet risen upon arrival and was still dark with stars in the sky.

The location attracts hoards of tourists hoping to catch the sunrise and mist hanging in the valley. Most images you see of this place are single exposure shots taken from the (2nd) lower outcrop to the left side with just the outcrop included in the photo.

The other issue was the lack of cloud in the sky at this time of the year so I wasn't massively inspired initially but at least there was mist present in the valley. I decided to move lower down to a position that would enable me to capture a wider view of the valley. What attracted me to the scene was the sweeping curve of the valley from left to right and the warming sunlight illuminating the foreground grass.

I setup my tripod, camera and wide-angle lens then switched to manual mode.

Five single exposures were needed to capture the complete view then stitched at the post processing stage. Basic tonal, contrast & white balance adjustments performed.

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