Canon 5D MkII, EF 24-105 f/4 L @ 58mm, f/11, 1/15 sec, ISO 200
This is what greeted me as I drove up to the Palouse in SE Washington State for a week of exploring and photographing. The brilliant pink and orange lasted for only a few minutes. I rapidly looked for a place to pull off the highway. By the time I got out and pulled out my camera, the magic was just about over In less that a minute the glow was gone. Too bad it is illegal to stop in the middle of a highway to capture a shot.
I was really excited about the clouds and what I expected to see during the next few days. However, the clouds did not come back during my stay. So I focused on the rolling hills, unique lines, and architectural elements. This trip was for scouting anyway.
Fuji X-T1, XF 18-135mm @ 18mm, f/8.0, 1/550 sec, ISO 800
My photography has not been very creative lately. When I get this way, I like to walk around and just practice. I do not have high expectations and just stop to photograph what catches my eye. I usually do not carry a tripod with me during these practice shoots. I use them as a scouting inspiration/exploration endeavor to come back and shoot at a better time. This image was taken in mid-day light at the Washington Arboretum Japanese Garden in Seattle. I spent 2 to 3 hours just walking around and enjoying the beautiful garden. I shot for less than an hour.
Once home, I just started playing around with different processing techniques on a few images. Again, more practice. This was one of the images that caught my eye. The original image was full of bright yellows, greens, and some oranges. I almost did not even try black and white processing. I wasn’t happy with the standard B&W images either, so I decided to experiment (play) some more. This sepia with a reverse vignette was the result.
Milky Way in Central Oregon
The skies were clear and dark with a new moon. We were out in a remote area in Central Oregon near the Prineville Reservoir. The skies were brilliant with stars shining everywhere. I had not been in such a site since I was in Boy Scouts over 50 years ago. I stared, stared, and stared, totally engrossed in the beauty and the enormity of the heavens above me. I dreamed about all the possibilities out there for other forms of life. It was a wonderful, amazing night that I will never forget.
Fuji X-T1, XF 18-135mm @ 105mm, f/11, 1/340 sec, ISO 400
Along the northwest section of the park drive, yellow hills and green valleys provided a change in color contrast of the landscape. This post concludes my quick trip through the badlands. Some day I hope to go back and explore the area at a more leisurely pace.
Fuji X-T1, XF 18-135mm @ 50mm, f/16, 1/640 sec, ISO 800
Sharp eroded ridges dominated the skyline of the Badlands. They stood like guardians protecting the land below.
Fuji X-T1, XF18-135mm @ 88mm, f/16, 1/400 sec, ISO 800
The sun broke through the clouds and focused its brilliance on this rock outcropping and the valley below. The large ridge behind me kept the foreground in shadows.
Fuji X-T1, XF18-135mm @ 18mm, f/11/ 1/80 sec, ISO 1600
At one time this area was a vast a sea bed. Color abounds in the different strata deposited over the millions of years in our geological history. I just felt in awe as I viewed the history in front of me. I felt so inconsequential in the stream of time.
Fuji X-T1, XF10-24mm @24mm. f/22. 1/13 sec, ISO 1600
The sky was very dark and covered with clouds. The landscape was very dark and covered with shadows. Then for a few seconds the sun popped out in a small gap in the clouds. The landscape opened up its arms for me to enjoy. The three hour drive starting at 3:00 AM to catch the sunrise was worth it!
Fuji X-T1, EF 18-135mm @ 31mm, f/16, 1/110 sec, ISO 800
I walked down into the basin of the Badlands and looked up to see the towering, eroded hills behind me. I processed this image to separate the foreground from the background by adding a touch of NIK’s Color EFEX Pro graduated fog to the background. I should have shot this image at a wider aperture to produce a natural effect. Lesson Learned: Take my time, work the image from different settings and exposures to create the effects that bring out specific elements of the subject.
Fuji X-T1, EF18-135mm @ 18mm, f/11, 1/175 sec, ISO 400
During a 2,880 mile, 4 day drive from Philadelphia to Washington State, I made one stop to photograph the Badlands National Park. The Badlands has been on my photography “bucket list” for years. I got up early at 3:00 AM and drove 200 miles to catch the sunrise at the park. I spent only 5 hours driving and taking short walks to capture the typical sights. It was more of a quick scouting expedition rather than a planned photo shoot. I will be back!
The light was rather poor, even at sunrise. But that did not alter my enjoyment of the park. I anticipated that I would end up processing the images in B&W, so I focused my shooting on trying to capture tonal contrasts. During the next few days I will post additional Badlands National Park photos.