A fellow walker told me about this pond recently. I didn't know the name then, but later a mom and her kids stopped me on the road and asked if I knew where "Newt Pond" was. So now I have the name. Amazingly still and quiet area, and there are always a few birds enjoying the area too.
I flew to California last weekend for a business trip, left early in the morning. Luckily I sat on the right hand side of the plane and I had a tremendous view of Mt. St. Helens. The Sony is my "light travel camera" so that's what I had on me. I fired off several frames, aiming for a high shutter speed, given we were scooting along at 425mph or so.
When I looked at the image on the monitor, the blown out mountain was spectacular, but overall the image had that dull cast one gets when shooting through miles of atmosphere (not to mention a pair of plastic & glass airliner windows).
Could Topaz B&W Effects II come to my rescue? I was looking for a dramatic scene, and I settled on the Dynamic Grunge II preset, then visually worked a couple of sliders (contrast in particular) to zero in on my perceived treatment. I played around with the exposure, I didn't want it to look like a nighttime scene. But OTOH, this was 7 am in early Spring.
This Topaz BWE software is fantastic. As much as I love Lightroom and live there all the time, for B&W, Topaz really does it for me.
Compare for yourself, the SOOC image is on the Continue link below. Comments happen to be free today, so help yourself!
Without further ado, my very best image of the year. I know, you are nearly speechless, just like I was when I saw this scene and it captured my heart. Compositionally, I mean how can one do better? I did agonize for several hours whether to share it with you in a vertical/portrait format, or this landscape version.
In the end, they were both so superb I just went with this because it fits better on the computer screen.
But back to how all my skills have coalesced to enable me to make such an image. The lighting... As John Barclay would say "yummy lighting." You could spend hours, perhaps days, waiting for just the conditions under which I have captured the scene.
The green, representing the new growth of Spring, a Spring which just won't be harnessed. It is erupting from the Earth, as you see here. And the blue, representing man's structure and form we impose on the planet. Strong, determined, but yet subtly imperfect. Part of what makes this image so compelling is how I juxtaposed man vs nature.
I could go on for hours about the pure magic in my master work, but I must post now in order to share it with the world.
Where you need to be, at least one morning in your life. Mono Lake, in California's Eastern Sierra. I have mentioned this before on the blog. It's a unique experience. In the case of this image, many photogs have already packed it in and headed out, because the morning light is gone.
But waiting can be glorious. Here, the full sunlight warms this tufa for the first time on the morning I happen to be there. Magic.