Evening at Dry Falls Overlook - Copyright Gary Hamburgh 2009- All Rights Reserved
On the 4th of July 2009, I went to the fireworks show at Grand Coulee Dam in central Washington. This region gives a different look of the Palouse with its many cliffs, plateaus and rock formations. About 20 miles west of Grand Coulee Dam, I stopped at a scenic view area called the Dry Falls Overlook. I was there in the middle of the day with very harsh light so I made a note to return for a sunset shoot at some time in the future.
Two days ago I was returning home from a trip to Walla Walla and Pendleton. I decided to head for a northern route and see if I could get some good weather and light to shoot sunset at the overlook. I had been planning to take images and then use Photomatix Pro to process the images because of the high contrast composition with the cliffs, water and sky. This software has become a very useful tool for me because it allows for processing multiple images in a simple and effective manner.
As I arrived at the Dry Falls Overlook, the view was as breathtaking as I had remembered. I got there an hour or so before sundown so I had plenty of time to prepare myself for the approaching sunset. I was excited to see a few clouds on the horizon opposite the direction of the setting sun as they gave me the hope that I would have an interesting sky to include in my images.
Sun Bathes the Cliffs - Copyright Gary Hamburgh 2009 - All Rights Reserved
Each of the images in this post was five exposures between -2 and +2 with a one stop interval between shots. I imported them into Aperture, made a few adjustments. then combined them into a single image and applied tonal mapping with Photomatix Pro. It was nice to have the full moon in the final image even though it appears very small above the clouds.
Moon at Dry Falls Overlook - Copyright Gary Hamburgh 2009 - All Rights Reserved
It was fun to capture the images in this beautiful and often overlooked area of the Palouse. Hopefully you will add this trip to your agenda as you plan your visit east of the Cascades in Washington.
Light Filters through Dust and Chaff - Copyright Gary Hamburgh 2009 - All Rights Reserved
A week or so ago, I posted about being careful while shooting the harvest because of the extreme dust. I suggested protecting your gear with rain covers.
Dust surrounds Truck - Copyright Gary Hamburgh 2009 - All Rights Reserved
Last night I had the privilege of shooting the wheat harvest in the Palouse again. This time after protecting my gear, I decided to use the dust that literally fills the air at times as an element to enhance my images. By using the dust in the image a more complete story of the harvest is told. After all, this is dry land farming with no irrigation and dust is very prevalent.
Combine Silhouette at Sunset - Copyright Gary Hamburgh 2009 - All Rights Reserved
By planning for the dust it can emphasize the conditions of the field and also give some substance to the lighting conditions. Remember if used with some forethought dust may become your friend.
Posted in Palouse Landscapes, Photography Advice
Tagged agriculture, combine, dust, farming, harvest, harvester, John Deere, landscape, Palouse, photography, sunset, tractor, wheat
Windmills at Sunset by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved
Sometimes it is fun to manipulate an image to give an illusion of something different than what is seen in the original photograph. I came across this article by Rick Sammon and decided to try the technique with one of my Palouse images.
This technique as described by Rick is “creating the magical mirror effect”. I used one of my images that was shot of a wind farm near Walla Walla, WA at sunset. I followed the instructions provided by Rick and created the image at the top of this page.
This was a fun technique and creates an illusion that there is a lake reflecting the original image. Thanks to Rick Sammon for sharing this process.
Barn at Sunset by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved
As a photographer you are always being told to backup your files because your storage media will fail at some point. A good plan is so essential as I found out yesterday afternoon.
One of my 1 Tb external hard drives failed with no warning. On that drive was a 930 gig Aperture library with thousands of images. Fortunately I had just backed up that library the night before to an Aperture vault that I have on a Drobo storage device with four 1 Tb drives. I was able to restore my library to a new 1 TB drive that I had not been using. It took approximately 13 hours to complete the restore but at least I was able to recover the data.
I have always been concerned about a failure and am very glad that at least I have one level of backup that was helpful. This near disaster has gotten me to thinking that maybe I need a more complete plan than I currently have in place.
Here is a link to an article Backup In Progress by Any Ihnatko that talks about making a backup plan. This is just one such article on an extremely useful website mydl.me that is hosted by Scott Bourne and Andy Ihnatko.
Follow Scott on Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/scottbourne
Follow Andy on Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/ihnatko
I hope you will take their advice and also learn from my experience that a good backup plan is essential because at some time it will save you from disaster.