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Wallpaper Details: Matterhorn's Midnight Reflection

High-resolution desktop wallpaper Matterhorn's Midnight Reflection by Dominic Kamp
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Matterhorn's Midnight Reflection

July 29th, 2010

After my little misinterpretation of Zermatt's traffic regulations (no cars allowed - $700 fine if you get caught), I ended up having to hike for 2.5 hours, 4 miles and about 1,000 meters in altitude with roughly 15kg on my back. Finally, I arrived at Stellisee, a small lake with a fantastic panorama of the Swiss Matterhorn. After I finished shooting, I hiked back the super dark trail, well prepared like any other mountain guide, with my new iPhone flashlight app! Photo comes straight out of the camera, so no further alterations.

Nikon D700, AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED lens, 15 second long exposure, ISO 320, ƒ/3.2

46°00'49.09"N, 7°48'07.11" E

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Comments from the Community

Posted By: knaim2
about 3 years, 12 months ago
Wow, I recently voted for this on the loupe! NICE!!!

I love it, great job again the God of Photography, Macindows.
Posted By: knaim2
about 3 years, 12 months ago
was this picture, this piece of beautiful art enhanced a lot in photoshop or is it just the nature of the camera and sick ass lens you use?
Posted By: Dominic Kamp
about 3 years, 12 months ago
As I said, just the pure beauty of a full moon night and a low noise camera with a f/2.8 lens. ;-)

I used Photoshop only for resizing - no alterations, no adding contrast or saturation or whatsoever!
Posted By: rejectEd
about 3 years, 12 months ago
Unbelievable. Probably your best effort to date and well worth the hike.
Thanks :)
Posted By: atosk89
about 3 years, 12 months ago
this is outstanding...from web to wallpaper!
Posted By: blue3blade
about 3 years, 12 months ago
WOW! I'm a photographer and look at a lot of pictures every day, and this is one of the nicest I've seen in a very long while. Awesome capture!
Posted By: Chuck
about 3 years, 12 months ago
Awesome picture. I'm just speechless.
Posted By: jrm125
about 3 years, 12 months ago
Looks like the beginning to a Paramount movie.

Love it, thanks submitter!
Posted By: Dhaman
about 3 years, 12 months ago
Excellent clarity, the colors are simply awesome. One of my favorite wallpapers to date.
Posted By: Dominic Kamp
about 3 years, 12 months ago
Thanks for all your compliments and nice comments! As a thank you I uploaded a wide angle version to my wallpaper section at:

www.dominickamp.de

Head over there and have a look.
Posted By: Lostnumber
about 3 years, 12 months ago
Stunning, simply stunning.
Posted By: brizkit
about 3 years, 12 months ago
Nice work, Mac. Clear but creamy and dreamy. You just dislodged a picture I've had on my desktop for weeks.
Posted By: quicksand
about 3 years, 12 months ago
an instant classic.

although too bad half the stars look like dust specks. i didn't know you could capture the earth's rotation in 15 seconds. either that or just a record number of meteoroids.
Posted By: MrMcLargeHuge
about 3 years, 12 months ago
Unaltered? Simply stunning.
Posted By: Roger Camp
about 3 years, 12 months ago
Magnificent!!! I could use many other adjectives to this fantastic photo. Well, I believe you feel it was worth the hard trip to capture this one. Congratulations!
Posted By: Majandra
about 3 years, 12 months ago
Whoa, this is an amazing picture! It went straight to my destop, and I think it's going to stay there for a while... Great work!
Posted By: pauliepaul
about 3 years, 12 months ago
incredible
Posted By: Craig Douglas
about 3 years, 12 months ago
A truly amazing shot. The fact that it is completely unedited in any way makes it truly a masterpiece. Very well done.
Posted By: anzensepp1987
about 3 years, 12 months ago
Terrific shot! That's so damn beautiful! Thank you so much for this awesome submission!
Posted By: willai_92
about 3 years, 12 months ago
magnificent shot. it is truly breathtaking. thank you
Posted By: SavaK
about 3 years, 12 months ago
It's hard to believe that it's unedited, the photographer really makes all the difference.

Great job!.
Posted By: Thomatis
about 3 years, 12 months ago
How can some of the stars be in front of the clouds ??
Got me beat.
Posted By: Tophmeister
about 3 years, 12 months ago
Amazing!!
Posted By: Psilocybe
about 3 years, 12 months ago
Awesome beyond belief...
Posted By: Dominic Kamp
about 3 years, 12 months ago
@ Thomatis:

Question:
How is it possible that a star seems to be in front of a cloud?

Answer:
Very simple. During a long exposure the camera sensor collects all light for the determined time frame (in this case 15 seconds). So at second #1, the star is yet uncovered by the cloud but towards the end of the 15 seconds time frame, the star has been covered by the moving cloud. And since the star is emitting far more light that the cloud, it seems to shine through the cloud or as you said "in front of the cloud".
This comment is rated: insightful
Posted By: Neocane
about 3 years, 12 months ago
Very nicely done!
Posted By: Thomatis
about 3 years, 12 months ago
@ macindows
This appears to be cirrus cloud, probably about 30,000 feet high. In the 15 sec exposure it would barely move in the frame. Certainly nowhere near the amount you suggest. Also, the big star at the very left should have disappeared behind the hill.
Posted By: Emmanuel Iarussi
about 3 years, 12 months ago
Amazing!!! definitely my next destination!
But.. how did you get a shot so clear? No noise at all!!!
And in your site version, at the foot of the mountain there are two small colored lights that are not on this version. Have you removed them?
Awesome picture, awesome place!
Posted By: Dominic Kamp
about 3 years, 12 months ago
@ Thomatis/Weather expert/Photography expert/Troll:
Sorry, I forgot that you've been there when I took the photo! So, of course I'm lying about the star! I totally photoshopped it there on purpose to fool you all!

@emmanueliarussi:
Exactly, I removed the two lights because I thought they were distracting the overall image. However, as I said, the photo has not been altered, no color changes, no contrast changes, no nothing. I probably should have removed the star within the cloud as well to avoid these stupid and smartass discussions as with John Coleman...
This comment is rated: insightful
Posted By: Juggernaut_510
about 3 years, 12 months ago
Awesome shot!

BTW, I would just keep my composure and ignore the skeptics.
Posted By: Emmanuel Iarussi
about 3 years, 12 months ago
lol! It's fine!! I really like the stars through the clouds! but I was not sure of the colored lights.
Posted By: EastTN
about 3 years, 12 months ago
Absolutely amazing capture! Thanks for sharing.

Quick question: The stars seem to have moved during the 15 second exposure. Is this due to the shallow DOF? Or is the light just bleeding from the stars due to the long exposure? Just curious. thanks again.
Posted By: EastTN
about 3 years, 12 months ago
@ Thomatis: Being a cloud expert, you should know that cirrus clouds are very thin. I don't believe it is to far fetched to believe that a star shining though the edge of very thin cloud would appear to be in front of a cloud.
Posted By: onis_uk
about 3 years, 11 months ago
epic ....total perfection !
Posted By: Bsketball
about 3 years, 11 months ago
Simply fantastic. I usually change wallpapers frequently, but I'm honestly going to keep this one up clear through my studying abroad in Switzerland Spring semester of next year. I love the amazing clarity in conjunction with the stary sky. I'm just so used to these pictures being taken at sunset and highly saturated. This one took my breath away. Bravo.
Posted By: Alex Krycek
about 3 years, 11 months ago
Wooooow, Jesus on a bike....
Posted By: Dominic Kamp
about 3 years, 11 months ago
@EastTN:
Thanks for your question!

Well, the stars have moved mainly due to the earth's rotation. ;-) Furthermore, there is no shallow depth of field because I was using a 12-24mm wide angle lens which basically has almost no depth of field, meaning that everything from 2m is crisp. Of course, it also depends on the aperture you're setting on a lens. The lower you set the aperture level (e.g. f/2.8 or even f/1.4 on certain lenses), the more blurriness you get beyond your focal point.

In this photo the focal point is the Matterhorn in the very back. It is so far away that even if you'd be using a 400mm f/2.8 lens, the stars in the back would still be sharp (depending on your shutter time of course).

If you want to prevent the stars from moving you don't have to be god but simply get yourself a star observatory tripod which automatically follows the stars. This allows you to shoot a perfectly sharp image of the night sky without having to increase your camera's ISO. Then I'd take a regular long exposure of my motive and merge these two images in Photoshop. These tripods however, are pretty expensive and really heavy - so not really an option to carry around for a 4 miles hike on top of a mountain! ;-)

I hope that clarifies your question.
Posted By: Faeth
about 3 years, 11 months ago
Another amazing photo that will grace my desktop for a good while. And Mac, just ignore the haters. I come here for quality wallpapers, and you sir, deliver just that. Keep the incredible submissions coming =D
Posted By: GF23
about 3 years, 11 months ago
I hate to be a skeptic too, but:
- no starlight reflected in the lake?
- that's a lot of light for moonlight.
- and 15 seconds isn't enough to show the motion of stars...

However, even if this is a composition, or it is a once-in-a-lifetime capture, it's still an unbelievably great shot! Thank you!
Posted By: Brandon Evano
about 3 years, 11 months ago
This should be featured in the wallpaper pack for Windows 8! Excellent Picture!
Posted By: Bsketball
about 3 years, 11 months ago
Ummm, you wouldn't see the reflection of most stars because of the movement of the water. And the reflection only covers an area of the sky slightly higher than the height of the Matterhorn. Despite that, a few of the brighter stars are visible in the water.

And with a long enough exposure, you can take a picture in near pitch black conditions and make it look like daylight. It's been done on this website before.

Macindows is one of the most distinguished artists on Interfacelift, so I for one trust him when he says this is close to raw.
Posted By: GF23
about 3 years, 11 months ago
The movement of the water would still reflect starlight (distorted though). And there are numerous stars between the summit and the lake which aren't reflected (despite the summit and tree line being reflected. Those bright stars we see in the lake don't line up to anything in the sky.

This isn't to discount the magnificence of the composition; just to point out the difficulty in believing that it is one photograph that has not been manipulated. A lot of us amateur photogs are going to want to go try and create something like this with just our camera and nothing else but I doubt it's possible......Yes Macindows is very talented and yes this is a beautiful picture but we also know Macindows talents extend from the camera to digital manipulation (see some of his other amazing work).
Posted By: stubulman
about 3 years, 11 months ago
First, according to my calculations, in 15 seconds the Earth should rotate .0625 degrees. Second, as we all know, the Matterhorn only exists in travel brochures. Third, the star field shown in this particular image does not belong to this quadrant of the galaxy. My surmise: Dominic Camp, (aka Macindows), is an alien and does not own a camera. The image here is a telepathic projection directly from his enormous brain to the IFL server! I am shaken to the core, but still a huge fan of his work.

PS: Dominic, your secret is safe with me.
Posted By: Dominic Kamp
about 3 years, 11 months ago
:-D Good one, Stubulman!

Well, to finally end this discussion as to whether I'm lying or not, please watch the following video. I hope this will quiet the last remaining disbelievers...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGcrbNjO3u8
Posted By: nbocch
about 3 years, 11 months ago
Gorgeous! Instantly to my desktop. Thanks Macindows!
Posted By: danielTPL
about 3 years, 11 months ago
Yep Yep, went on mine aswell! I'm new on here but latly followed a few discussions like this one and I've been following Dominic's work on here and his homepage for a while. And THESE discussions are so not needed and off topic, arent they? I mean to a certain extent this site is still about arts and who cares if its "fake" or not or technicly doubtable? As long as the artist stands behind it with his own idea and composition, which Dominic does each time he uploads one of his stunning works so he shouldn't be questioned for such things.
Some people should appreciate the great works we get to see on here more because it's still about enjoying it and encouraging those artists to share more of their works with us not taking them apart like no tomorrow.

Oh and btw, how would it make sense always pointing out how his pictures are "manipulated" (hate that word) as Dominic always does. And then to lie about one work to make us think its real, without any reason. Unless it's a super long con ... probably the greatest one in IFL history. Come on guys haha
Thank you Macindows for your great !photographs!...best compositions on here by far...

P.S.:I personally agree with Stubulman in every point!
Posted By: Cytosyn
about 3 years, 11 months ago
Hey Macindows
Contratz for the marvelous shot!

One question : how do you decide of the exposure time (in this case 15 seconds) ? Do you just try several exposures until you have a satisfying result, or do you somehow "measure" the luminance of the scene and choose accordingly ?

Thanks
Posted By: Pat
about 3 years, 11 months ago
It took me about a day, but I finally figured out the stars. Dim stars are almost as bright in this picture as much brighter ones. That makes it hard to recognize the patterns. However, they are correct for the time the picture was taken. Virgo is right above the Matterhorn and two planets, Saturn and Mars, are also in the picture (lower right). Great picture!
Posted By: BlackEagle754
about 3 years, 11 months ago
You did nothing to enhance this? WOW!!!
Posted By: ckcallen
about 3 years, 11 months ago
This is the best photo/wallpaper I have seen on the site, hands down!
Posted By: Pat
about 3 years, 11 months ago
@Thomatis
1) You have a point, but I think he clarified what he meant by no alterations. Perhaps he wasn't clear at first, but that is not a lie.
2)Where is that quote from? It is nonsense. You can easily see stars during a full moon. Besides, just because your eyes shut down due to the moon light doesn't mean a camera will.
3)My planetarium program confirms the date and apporximate time.
4)As others have stated, the water is not a perfect reflector. It blurs everything. Dim stars end up being spread out to the point of not providing enough light to show up. I live on a real lake and can almost never see the stars reflected. Venus might have been visible, but it just set before the picture was taken.
Pat
Posted By: FreshPie
about 3 years, 11 months ago
Although everybody knows this by now, I just wanna say that Macindows definitely has a distinct, awesome style. I could tell this submission was his before reading his name.
Posted By: Sequoyah
about 3 years, 11 months ago
Wow!
Posted By: onis_uk
about 3 years, 11 months ago
ive had this on my desktop for about a week and evey time i boot up i take a second to look at it ....amazing photograph !
Posted By: Saurabhjainlk
about 3 years, 7 months ago
Only 3 wallpapers in last 2 years
1 Driftwood
2 spectrum of Sky and
3 Matterhorn's Midnight Reflection

You ROCK!

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