Tag Archives: Painted Hills

Creating a Sunset

150720_PaintedHills3 by Karl Graf. Fuji X-T1, XF18-135mm @ 35mm, f/22, 1/125 sec, ISO 400

This image of Oregon’s Painted Hills was taken from the main overlook.  The overall scene was immense and beautiful.  However, the bright mid-day sun made the image look flat.  As I was surveying other images of the Painted Hills, I came across several dramatic images of the hills in late afternoon/early evening sun.  I took the challenge to see if I could get close as I post-processed the image.  Using a variety of adjustment layers and masks, I came up with the following image.

150720_PaintedHills3_Sunset by Karl Graf. This is what I imagine what the scene would be in the warn early evening light, just before sunset.  I can’t wait to go back and capture an actual sunset here.

Painted Hills 2

150719_PaintedHills & Field by Karl Graf. Fuji X-T1, XF18-135mm @ 62mm, f/11, 1/350 sec, ISO 400

Driving up to Oregon’s Painted Hills, I saw this pastoral scene and stopped to capture the feeling.  It was “high noon” and the sun was bright, but I still wanted to give it a try.  To recreate the feeling I had, I processed the image in Topaz’s Impression and added a little texture in Photoshop.  Who say’s you can’t make good images in bright noon day sun!

Scouting the Painted Hills

150715_Painted Hills by Karl Graf. Fuji X-T1, XF 18-135mm @ 37mm, f/22, 1/180 sec, ISO 400

I have heard many people comment on the beauty of the Painted Hills of NE Oregon.  Being from central Washington, I had never taken the 2-3 hour drive to see them.  So on a recent trip to central Oregon, I thought I would go exploring.  My purpose was more of a scouting trip than specifically to take images.  I was there mid day on a very bright warm summer day.  Even in this bright light, the colors of the hills radiated out.  I look forward to coming back during the late afternoon sunlight.

Painted Hills is one of the three units of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, located in Wheeler County, Oregon.[1] It totals 3,132 acres (1,267 ha) and is located 9 miles (14 km) northwest of Mitchell, Oregon. The Painted Hills are listed as one of the Seven Wonders of Oregon.[2] Painted Hills is named after the colorful layers of its hills corresponding to various geological eras, formed when the area was an ancient river floodplain.

The black soil is lignite that was vegetative matter that grew along the floodplain. The grey coloring is mudstonesiltstone, and shale.[3] The red coloring is laterite soil that formed by floodplain deposits when the area was warm and humid.[