Sunset on Pandora | Matthew Cooper Photography
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Sunset on Pandora

Sunset on Pandora

This shot is surprisingly only my SECOND shot I’m sharing from Pandora. I’ve looked over these shots so many times now trying to decide how to proceed it feels like more. This shot is a spot that has already become quite popular with photographers looking into the queue of Flight of Passage. I think it’s easy to see why as there are just tons of cool details everywhere… honestly that can be said of the entire Avatarland, but this is one of these ‘easy’ shots to actually frame and take. With that in mind I wanted to approach the edit seriously and make sure that my version of it stood out and wasn’t just another ‘me too’ shot.

One thing I noticed right away with all of my Pandora shots, and especially one like this, is that they are just BEGGING to be dodged and burned. There are so many little nooks and crannies and highlights and shadows. This final version has about an hour and a half of manual dodge and burn work alone. Quite intensive, but well worth it for what I think, amazing sky potential aside, the best possible version I could possibly do of this shot with my current skill set. The image is composed of 2 exposures, 1 for the sky, and 1 for everything else. The final edit is composed of 31 various adjustment layers and nearly 3 hours of editing. I hope you will enjoy viewing it as much as I enjoyed creating it!

Matthew Cooper