Nellie Juan Glacier in western Prince William Sound is a magical place, and remains one of my favorite destinations in all my years of travel to the Sound. The Glacier is fed by the Sargent Ice Field above, and often harbors chilly winds that blown down over the ice and into the Lagoon. This day was remarkably warm, perhaps because I was running and climbing all over the granite ridges that surround the lagoon. The traction on this rock is amazing, with a good pair of rubber boots. The only caveat is avoiding the wet areas (and there are a lot of them where water drains) which are slippery, and the view shows that the fall could be a bit precarious including a chilly finish.
I saw this composition just near the end of the day on my way down the rock face, and the sun was vanishing in a matter of seconds. I made a quick exposure setting on manual and shot a few frames, then the sun vanished behind the clouds. If I had more time, I would have set the exposure to 1/125 sec at f/16 or so for a little more starburst element, but there is just enough there as it is. The amazing dynamic range intrinsic to one single exposure on a Canon RAW file makes a photo like this possible. I split the exposure value so I could recover enough of the shadows in the rocks, realizing the sun would be slightly blown out. I no longer use split graduated neutral density filters for reasons worth discussing in another post. If I had more time and a tripod, I would have made two exposures and blended them appropriately to expand the dynamic range even further.