Aneroid Lake, Eagle Cap Wilderness

Fourth of July weekend was spent at Aneroid Lake in the Eagle Cap Wilderness of Oregon.  Though I did not take a large amount of pictures, my goal was to use the 24mm TSE lens to capture some different views of the lake.  The two shots shared here are each composites of two images.

The first image was taken in the evening with the sun setting behind the mountain ridge in the frame.  I wanted to include the clear water of the lake and the rocks below.  I used a circular polarizer to mitigate the reflection on the lake.  I do not believe tilt was involved since the foreground was not very close to the lens.  I had forgotten my bubble level so had to eyeball the lake’s horizon.  Each image was shifted up/down and overlaps over 50% resulting in a nice 4×5 aspect ratio image.

Another aspect of this image I want to point out is the use of a circular polarizer.  Too often I read online people dismissing the need of a circular polarizer on a wide angle lens.  Yes, the effect it could have would not deepen the blues within a sky evenly.  However, I most enjoy the reflection-cutting ability polarizers have on water.  I could not see the bottom of the lake with my own eyes as well as the camera-lens-polarizer combination could.  For me, a polarizer on a wide angle lens makes complete sense when shooting water (or wet objects).

Aneroid Lake Evening

The second photo was taken in the morning.  Dawn light was nice but I have no regrets missing the light by a few minutes.  Just a few clouds; I’m ok with the result I got anyway.  This shot required tilting to maximize DOF.  I even took three different exposures with a plan of an HDR panoramic stitch.  However, the detail in the “normally” exposed image of the three files had enough detail to rescue the highlight data.  Again, this is two photos with 50%+ overlaps resulting in a nice 4×5 aspect rato.  Using the tilt-shift at the lake was a fun experience.

Aneroid lake Dawn

One last image to prove I explored beyond the lake.  This area sits above Aneroid Lake along the Tenderfoot Pass trail.

Along the Tenderfoot Pass Trail

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A Plan and Coincidence

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.

November at Palouse Falls

It had been cold enough for a few days in mid-November to pique my interest in a trip to Palouse Falls.  I was pleased with the amount of ice around the falls but knew it would be more impressive as Winter progresses.  After all, we aren’t technically in the Winter season yet.  With more chilling temperatures this week, the possibilities of more ice increases.  Nonetheless here are two images from the Upper Falls.  The black and white image was taken with the 24mm TSE (two shots stitched).  The 1×2 panorama is a four shot stitch taken at 70mm.

Upper Falls and Ice Patch

Upper Falls and Reflected Light

A hike to the Upper Falls was my first priority with photographs of the main falls taking a backseat.  There was a glimmer of hope the sun would align to create a rainbow from the spray.  I was unsure exactly where I would position myself but as I walked along the fenceline I found a great vantage point.  Clouds blocked the rays, erasing the rainbow from time to time but I was able to capture a few frames, this one being my favorite.

Rainbow and Ice

Palouse River Character

Rivers are unique.  The Colorado and Green are known for the path it has cut through the sandstone in Arizona and Utah.  The Salmon is known as the River of No Return.  The Snake starts in Yellowstone, meanders through Wyoming with the Tetons as a backdrop, continues through lava canyons in Southern Idaho and ultimately carves Hells Canyon.  Though the Palouse River is small and not a river in the Northwest that sticks out in most people’s minds, it has strong character along its path through the Palouse to the Channeled Scablands.

I am just beginning to get familiar with this river.  Its course through the farmland provides a change in scenery.  Often one can see the emergence of the canyon with the tall pines peaking above the rolling loess.  Many people are familiar with Palouse Falls, near the terminus of the river.

Upper Palouse Falls and Reflection

I recently shot sunrise along a beautiful gooseneck within the farmland and ended the day at Palouse Falls, in an environment that seemed much further removed than the 100 or so miles would suggest.  Though the bookends of the day were spent photographing the river, the remained of the day was not spent behind a camera.  Since this time I have sought out more opportunities along the river.  Though more photos have been taken of locations that are new to me, I still have much time ahead to truly capture the character of this river.  Such a capture would not only illustrate the geographic changes this river experiences but also the seasonal changes it experiences.

Gooseneck Dawn

Morning Fog along the Palouse

Winter Light over Lewiston-Clarkston Valley

Photography during Winter is always interesting.  The low-angle of light lasts throughout the day, most notably at higher latitudes.  Such light transforms the otherwise bland midday light into nice oblique light casting shadows across the land.  This rarely leads to flat, dimensionless lighting conditions.

Many times I’ve driven the Lewiston Grade.  US Highway 95 climbs from the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater rivers up to the hills of the Palouse.  The grade climbs almost 2000 feet providing many views of the valley below.  On clear days Hells Canyon can be viewed along with the mountains flanking the river forming the Idaho and Washington border.  Many times I’ve gazed across the valley while driving down the grade.  Most times the haze is too much or the conditions are not quite right.  However, on an early December day the midday light was streaming through the clouds, providing dramatic light across the entirety of the valley.

Afternoon light over the Orchards of Lewiston, Idaho.

The Snake River dividing idaho and Washington.

My next post will provide a contrast between two photographs taken of a very similar scene yet captured almost four months apart.