Full Frame: The Story Behind the Image


© Bill Sisson

Above the Clouds
The Huangshan Mountains (also known as the Yellow Mountains) in eastern China are famous for their steep ridges; dreamy cloud formations that swirl around the peaks; and incredible, breathtaking views. They draw millions of Chinese visitors each year, but relatively few foreigners. One “foreigner” who made the trek recently was photographer Bill Sisson who traveled there last July and captured this spectacular shot.

“On the day that I shot this photo, I was late hiking up to a mountaintop with views in all directions,” Sisson says. “I arrived at the peak only about 15 minutes before the sun set. I came to this vantage point just as the last of the sun’s rays were touching these peaks.”

He shot the image with a Pentax K-1 DSLR and a Pentax 28-105mm lens set at 40mm, 1/160 second, f/6.3, ISO 400. Sisson says the biggest challenge was adjusting to the rapidly changing cloud and lighting conditions.

“I didn’t have time to set up my tripod, so I handheld the camera for a series of images. I bracketed exposure settings manually, compensating for underexposure of the clouds. I chose this image out of the series for the best cloud conditions and lighting.”

You can see a larger version of the image here and more of Sisson’s work at his Facebook page: facebook.com/bill.sisson.7.