Click for a larger version.

Nothing draws me into a scene or composition more than stark contrast. It's what my eye seeks more often than any other element. How can one subject, such as the mountain above, be of such dual nature? Cold and frozen on one face, warm and golden on the other. I chose a symmetrical  composition to emphasize the difference here. I didn't have as long a lens as I would have liked, so much cropping was necessary to get the framing I wanted. This shot is a great example of a scene that comes alive in post-production. Shooting a camera in RAW format often doesn't capture the brilliant colors and contrast of the scene as the eye saw it. RAW files start out with such flatness and muddiness, so post-production (read: contrast, brightness, saturation, and levels adjustment) is necessary to bring the image back from the dead. Why do I shoot RAW vs JPEG? Because I get all of the data recorded of the scene and can decide for myself how to interpret it. When you shoot JPEG, you're losing information and many of the creative decisions are handed off to the camera. I'm kind of a control freak, so I definitely can't have that! I'll delve further into the differences between RAW and JPEG in an upcoming episode of my video series.