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Shots Landscapes Columbia Hills State Park (Dalles Mountain Ranch)

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Old May-06-2012, 06:18 PM
#1
ksproul is offline ksproul OP
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Columbia Hills State Park (Dalles Mountain Ranch)
I made my first trip to Dalles Mountain Ranch area of Columbia Hills State Park here in Washington this weekend. While a lot of the trip was a bust due to the heavy wind and my unfamiliarity with the area, I did come away with one photo I'm quite happy with. This is from just after sunrise yesterday morning. Comments and criticism are welcome!

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Old May-06-2012, 07:29 PM
#2
CWSkopec is online now CWSkopec
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No criticism for this one, Kris. That is one gorgeous image. Nice work!
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Old May-07-2012, 08:42 PM
#3
ksproul is offline ksproul OP
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Originally Posted by CWSkopec View Post
No criticism for this one, Kris. That is one gorgeous image. Nice work!
Thank you very much! I appreciate it.
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Old May-07-2012, 10:49 PM
#4
Crokey is offline Crokey
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A wonderful, pastoral scene. I really feel "in" this place, like I'm part of the story:resting on a low rock among the flowers on a Sunday evening. Wonderfully processed, too.
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Old May-09-2012, 04:13 PM
#5
ksproul is offline ksproul OP
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Originally Posted by Crokey View Post
A wonderful, pastoral scene. I really feel "in" this place, like I'm part of the story:resting on a low rock among the flowers on a Sunday evening. Wonderfully processed, too.
Thank you!
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Old May-09-2012, 08:08 PM
#6
pinka is offline pinka
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beautiful
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Old May-09-2012, 10:22 PM
#7
kdog is online now kdog
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A shot like this definitely can make a whole trip worthwhile. Just gorgeous. Can you say a word about the processing which I happen to like a lot?
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Old May-10-2012, 10:28 AM
#8
ran is offline ran
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Its aLL BEEN SAID
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Old May-10-2012, 12:04 PM
#9
bhundt is offline bhundt
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Wow, very nice!
Old May-10-2012, 04:27 PM
#10
LightMagic is offline LightMagic
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Love it!
Old May-10-2012, 06:02 PM
#11
dereksurfs is offline dereksurfs
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Very nice flowers Kris. I'll be there next week, can't wait. Hopefully I'll finding something to shoot vs. just wandering around since it will be my first time as well. I hear Dalles Mtn. Rd. can offer some good views.
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Old May-11-2012, 10:49 AM
#12
choudhrysaab is offline choudhrysaab
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really nice composition! beautiful colors
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Old May-11-2012, 07:39 PM
#13
ksproul is offline ksproul OP
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Originally Posted by dereksurfs View Post
Very nice flowers Kris. I'll be there next week, can't wait. Hopefully I'll finding something to shoot vs. just wandering around since it will be my first time as well. I hear Dalles Mtn. Rd. can offer some good views.
Thanks! If it helps, this shot was taken right near the old ranch, about 3-4 miles in from WA-14, if I remember correctly. I believe it's the only spot where there are buildings along the road. Coming from WA-14, if you park on the side of the road right near the buildings (and where the road forks), then walk over the hill to the right (before the buildings), you'll see this fence (and a rusted out old car just beyond it). This was the only place where I got good shots (or a good shot), since it was the only spot somewhat shielded from the wind when I was there.

Next time, I'd like to do the hike up at the end of the road that forks to the left at the ranch. I drove out it a mile or so to the trailhead, but I didn't feel like it was worth doing the hike when it was so windy and I probably wouldn't get any worthwhile shots up there anyway. But I could see fields FULL of yellow in the distance up on those hills. I've heard that the views up there are amazing as well.

Anyway, have fun on your trip!
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Old May-11-2012, 07:51 PM
#14
ksproul is offline ksproul OP
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Originally Posted by kdog View Post
A shot like this definitely can make a whole trip worthwhile. Just gorgeous. Can you say a word about the processing which I happen to like a lot?
Thanks for your comments! Processing-wise, I did it a little differently than I've done in the past. Using Photoshop is definitely a continuous learning experience, and I feel like I still have a lot to learn in this area. I really appreciate the feedback on the processing though.

This final shot is all from a single exposure, but I processed it twice from the raw file - once for the sky (darkened about a stop and with some extra noise reduction since I shot at ISO 400 due to the wind) and once for everything else (with no major adjustments). I then blended them together manually using a layer mask, which is something I'm still learning how to do well. The fenceposts made this a bit more challenging, but I got it done. Once I got a nice blend, I added a dodge/burn layer and darkened the sky further, then did some manual dodging and burning of the flowers and fenceposts. I then added adjustment layers for levels (one overall one with some minor adjustments and one with a mask just affecting the sky that added a bunch more contrast), curves (adding some more contast), and saturation (bumping up the master, blue, and magenta just a little). That was it for the main processing.

For the final image shown here, I also cropped it a bit, cutting out some dying flowers on the bottom. In the end, I liked the final cropped composition better anyway, so it was well worth it to do this. Then I resized and sharpened it for the web.

I'm going to get a couple of prints made this weekend as well, as I want to see how it looks on paper.
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Old May-11-2012, 07:52 PM
#15
ksproul is offline ksproul OP
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Thank you all for the kind words!
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