It has been a busy summer for photography and work (non-photography-related job). I have fallen behind terribly and aim to get caught up with a few posts before Thanksgiving. I have two ready to go and will start off with this one.
Last year I started offering photo tours of the Palouse. Though I haven’t lived in the area that long, I’ve definitely put in the time to learn the back roads, of which I’ve counted over 400 in Whitman County alone. Though the client’s photographic productivity and enjoyment of the area is foremost, I also take my gear to occasionally capture a few frames. This has allowed me to have fun using just one lens or trying a different lens at familiar spots. I own the 24 tilt-shift and have borrowed the 90 tilt-shift (both Canon). My use of these lenses have been for DOF, perspective correction, and panoramic stitching. The 90mm lens did not get as much use and I had more of a learning curve so satisfactory shots were harder to come by; one will be shared in the next post.
The first image was taken with the 24mm. Both a downward tilt and downward shift were used along with a 2-stop reverse GND for the sky. I also shifted upwards to capture enough of the sky; the filter had to be readjusted upon shifting so the gradation line was kept uniform at the horizon.
Palouse River Canyon Morning, August 2014
The second image was also taken with the 24mm. Again, both tilt and shift downward were used for DOF and perspective, respectively.
Old Barn and Clouds, Summer Morning
This image is from a favorite spot of mine. I really like the bowl created by the landscape. The 24mm coverage just barely gets the sweep of the field. I used shifting to correct perspective and capture a large amount of sky (one shot shifted down and one shot shifted up). I do not believe I tilted for DOF since the foreground distance was relatively far from the lens.
The Plan: Last week I planned to shoot sunrise primarily to capture the moon set. The weather cooperated though it was a little windy. The location decided upon worked well for this time of year due to the position of the moon. If photographed later in the summer, the moon would be too far to the right of the frame and even completely outside of the frame come late June when Summer officially arrives. This position can be attained again in Autumn, but I have not used The Photographers Emphemeris to determined the exact date.
The Coincidence: With a location decided upon and photographing the moon set the goal, I set out early in the morning. The convenient coincidence is the path of the Palouse River. Though the river snakes it way through the scene, one might assume it continues to snake in a similar manner below the bottom of the frame, especially with how the river bends. However, the path of the river that comes in from the lower left hand side is only there during the early spring run-off. I revisited previous photos I had taken in Summer and found that portion of the river is indeed dry, all but for a tiny pool. The river actually runs in from the left side of the frame and makes a 90 degree turn, resulting in the meandering seen here.
Needless to say, I was pleased with the outcome, especially learning of the coincidence of the river flow aiding my pre-planned photographic idea.
Palouse River Moonset, Spring
Technical Details: This photograph is the result of nine different exposures but 12 total files. Three of the darkest exposures taken were further decreased by -2 exposure compensation in ACR. The resulting 12 files were stitched, of which each image was a combination of four images (three HDR images of four files each were used) to capture highlight and shadow detail (4×3). In short, it is a multi-stitch panorama HDR image. The resulting stitch worked best as a 4×5 aspect ratio instead of 2×3; I had too much overlap on my panorama images.
Here are three different perspectives overlooking the Palouse River Canyon during the Fall season. I must admit the first image was taken earlier in Fall and is 99% evergreens. I have previously visited this place. My initial image result was a three-shot stitch using the 24mm TSE lens. I was more concerned with using tilt (downward for DOF) and lateral shift that I did not take into account the distorted leaning trees along the edges. This time I chose to forego tilt for DOF, shifted up for perspective control, and rotated the tripod head for a total of three images. The trees behaved much nicer this time around. (I must admit I only recently discovered the tilt and shift axes on the new 24mm TSE can be independently adjusted so I could have tilted for DOF as well as shifted up for perspective control…oh well, guess I have to go back again!)
Palouse Goosneck Dawn
The second image conveys the feel of a Palouse Fall (plowed fields, shades of brown) rather than the typical golden glow of foliage. The light was beautifully clear; the temperature was numbing. I took many photographers this particular morning but this one stands out as my favorite. Though it is not obvious, the Palouse River sits just below the foremost row of trees.
Cold Autumn Dawn
The third and final image does capture a hint of fall color in the cottonwood trees. I went to this location hoping for fog rolling off the river. Though it was cold, the fog never materialized as I had hoped. Nonetheless, in the minutes before sunrise, I took three images with the 70-200 lens to created this image.