All images and material © 2016 by Mike Clasen Photography • All Rights Reserved • Use By Permission Only
So the name for this image was not totally taken from anything I saw in this scene, except for the sunset explosion over the Sierra Nevada, and the dream like tufa spires in the foreground. The name ‘Exploder’ is a heavy metal guitar solo by Akira Takasaki from the Japanese heavy metal band “Loudness” back in 1984-ish. Dream Fantasy is a song from the band Loudness which includes a drum solo, also from around 1984-ish (been a long time). Combine both names, and there you have it.
This was captured at Mono Lake’s South Tufa area, back in October of 2012. This was the type of afternoon, where you can only hope for the weather conditions that were at Mono Lake on this day. I was shooting to the east where dark gray/blue luminous storm clouds were swallowing up the horizon, and light was dancing off the landscape and clouds. Calm reflections of the storm spanned across Mono Lake, it was a show to say the least, and I was unaware of what was starting to happen behind me. I was moving rather fast, tripod and camera attached, capturing the storm and sunset colors that were starting to unfold on the east side. I started to head for another spot and turned around to walk around some tufa spires, when BAM, there it was… I was like, holy shit! Nobody else was in the area I was at, so there were no photo bombs. At the time, I could not recall a sunset more glorious than this, and still, I am sure I have seen one, but this one blew me away.
It had been so long, that I almost forgot about this trip, and I only processed a few pics initially after it, and it was pretty crappy processing for what I knew back then. So I went to revisit the images over the weekend, and I found this capture that I had bracketed during the shoot, and merged to HDR using Photomatix Pro back in 2012 So, I opened up the merged HDR image in PS and started working on it, and this is what I came up with.
© MIKE CLASEN PHOTOGRAPHY