Sunny Storm at RMNP

Longs Peak, the only 14er in RMNP, and its close neighbor Mt Meeker, are completely hidden in the mist and rain clouds. Meanwhile, I was bathed in sunlight with the foreground pines.

Original Photo

Thanks for looking, and best regards.


nice result

The processing has really enhanced the photo very nicely!

Have you climbed Longs or any of the other 14ers?

Thank you Peter. @Laundromat


Here are a couple post-processing technical notes I didn’t include in the original post.

Since the original image is lacking in texture and contrast, after basic adjustment in LR, I went into Topaz Studio and called B&W Effects. Using the adaptive exposure sliders and the detail brush, I created a B&W layer which was blended with multiply and scaled with opacity. I use multiply or luminosity blending in this way to boost color and B&W images. I find this approach doesn’t produce the crunchiness that occurs by pushing clarity and detail sliders too far.

I also find that if white balance off, subsequent processing of my images with hazy, misty, fading backgrounds can lead to unwanted colors casts. In this case, I was getting a bit of a magenta tint in the distant mountains lower clouds. Tweaking sliders to try to fix this can be tedious, so I sometimes brush in some negative saturation instead. It’s much easier and less likely to create further issues though it isn’t suitable when color is an important element. In scenes like this, saturation is already decreased naturally, so this method enhances the loss of color with distance.

Best regards


Thanks Ken @KenKv

Years ago I reached the base of the Homestretch via the Keyhole route. The climb from there is only a couple hundred feet of elevation gain. However, you benefit from long legs on the Homestretch, which my young daughter, who is barely above 5ft tall now as an adult, did not possess. We could have completed it, but it would have taken extra time helping her up the larger blocks. Unfortunately, there were early storms approaching so we chose prudence and descended. I think it was a good move as we got sleet on the way down, but no lightening until we were back below tree line. I never tried again, but both my daughter and wife climbed it together a couple of years later.

I’ve done a couple other 14ers and quite a few summits within Rocky Mtn NP, where I’ve probably put in 1000-1500 miles of hiking over the years. That includes Storm Peak, the pointy summit in the center-left of the image, Mt Lady Washington, the double hump barely visible in the mist on the left side - Longs/Meeker are between these two.

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It sounds like you have had a lot of fun hiking! We love hiking in RMNP, but the only 14er we have done is Bierstadt. I would like to hike Longs someday…

@KenKv I’ve definitely had a lot of fun hiking. RMNP is so nice because there is such a great variety of trails so close together. Have you climbed any of the 13ers in RMNP. I think some of them are more challenging than Longs, some are pretty and more interesting than Longs, and all of them are way less crowded than Longs.

No, I have not climbed any of the 13ers there, would be fun as long as there is no technical climbing!

Ah, if you get a chance, you should give a try on one or two. There are quite a few, with a wide range of difficulty, and I don’t think any require technical climbing. You may need to use your hands for some scrambling on some of the routes. Though 2 or 3 of them are not for the faint of heart like Pagoda, McHenry and maybe the true - versus east - summit of Meeker, and Longs. The difficulties are due to length, elevation change, or route finding - since many summits require off-trail hiking, or some combination of those factors. If you’ve climbed any of Flattop/Hallett, Twin Sisters, Estes Cone, or Ida you definitely can handle several of the 13ers.

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Thank you for the detailed explanation how you achieved the look. I have come across these color casts too and sometimes it is not easy to get rid of them.

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