A recent field trip to the local scrapyard was more fun than it may sound! About 14 members of our camera club met at the gate, then quickly dispersed among the piles of reclaimed metals, all neatly organized by subject. We had about an hour and a half after closing to enjoy the last light of day. Immediately inspired by the rust and with my macro lens all set, I got right to work. In fact, I was enjoying the close-up work so much that the other lenses I was lugging around in my backpack never came out. Shooting this very different subject matter certainly was a great exercise and fun change of pace!
Month: April 2016
One Truck, Three Compositions
Let’s set something straight… when I said goodbye to winter a couple of posts ago, I didn’t promise I wouldn’t show anymore snow pictures! I figured there would probably be more snow and here it is. This snow is different however… it’s spring snow… wet and fast melting! I spotted this multi-colored truck a month or so ago, when there was just a few patches of snow on the ground. Seeing some potential I planned to go back when (and if) it snowed again. And it did… so I went back and shot several compositions, choosing three to make this small collection.
Why It’s Called The Black Canyon
No explanation necessary… the picture tells the story of how the canyon got its name! On this evening a nice cloud pattern was forming so I decided to go down to the Sunset Point pull-off and try my luck. I do think canyons can be very tricky to photograph. The lighting often has a high dynamic range, very dark at the bottom and very bright at the top and in the sky. In some situations our cameras just can’t capture the complete range of light that our are eyes are able to see and this is one of those situations! I first tried HDR software but even with my natural-looking technique, I was not satisfied. I decided to go to plan B and combine the bracketed shots manually, using layers and masks and several blending steps. For the finishing touches I used luminosity masks to select specific tonal areas for adjustment. I hope you have a good resolution monitor to see that I was able to create a natural-looking image, with color in the sky and detail in the very ‘Black Canyon’.
Here is a small assortment of abandoned houses and shacks I have discovered in recent months. This subject matter is quite different here in Western Colorado compared to some of the larger abandoned structures I was used to Back East. People who lived here one hundred years or so ago were for the most part cowboys (and girls), hunters and miners. They built their shelters quite simply and out of readily available natural materials. Often times old log structures are just a pile of logs now, easily finding their way back into the earth. But no matter their style and size, I think these abandoned abodes tell a history-rich story all their own!