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Thread: To See the West, Go East

  1. #1

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    To See the West, Go East

    Oregon is a big state, at about 98,000 square miles the 9th largest in the U.S., but with a relatively small population (a bit under 4 million). The great majority of the inhabitants live in a north-south strip west of the Cascades mountain range. This is the temperate coniferous rainforest region that most people associate with the state.

    The two-thirds of Oregon that lies east of the Cascades is much less well known. It's a lot drier, with a greater seasonal and daily temperature variation, and a totally different character than the western valleys and mountains. A few weeks ago I posted some images of the skies (Spanish Hollow Layers) and fields (Out Here in the Fields) of central Oregon, or "CO" as the locals call it, an area that is just east of the Cascades and is known for its outdoor recreation and ranch life.

    But to see the part of Oregon that looks like the "real west"--the kind of terrain that often appeared in old western movies and TV shows--you have to travel farther east. The photo that I'm sharing today portrays an area that would be completely in place in one of those movies, and where cowboys still roam--though admittedly more often in a pickup truck than on horseback. This is John Day country, home of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument and the John Day River, which is just over the central hill in the picture. Arid high desert country, where water is at a premium.

    I shot this image several years ago, but just recently I've come back to it and rendered it anew in a monochrome version that better captures what I felt that day as I looked upon this scene for the first time. I'm interested in any reactions you may have to it--emotionally, stylistically, technically, or whatever-ly. This wide open vista cries out for a large image, so I've put a 1250-px wide version in the Litebox. But if that's too big for many of your monitors, let me know and I'll reduce it.


    To See the West, Go East

  2. #2
    Marie Hass's Avatar
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    Re: To See the West, Go East

    How would speechless be? Beautiful image. The vastness overwhelms me.

  3. #3
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: To See the West, Go East

    A truly stunning image... Incredible DOF and detail... I adore the composition and I loved reading your intro.

  4. #4

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    Re: To See the West, Go East

    Just great! If you don't mind sharing what camera/setting did you use to capture this image?

  5. #5

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    Albert Sim

    Re: To See the West, Go East

    Quote Originally Posted by Arlen View Post
    I shot this image several years ago, but just recently I've come back to it and rendered it anew in a monochrome version that better captures what I felt that day as I looked upon this scene for the first time. I'm interested in any reactions you may have to it--emotionally, stylistically, technically, or whatever-ly. This wide open vista cries out for a large image, so I've put a 1250-px wide version in the Litebox. But if that's too big for many of your monitors, let me know and I'll reduce it.


    To See the West, Go East
    Awesome ! And it corresponds to your comment in Re: Custom White Balance compared to AWB

  6. #6
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: To See the West, Go East

    Hi Arlen,

    I just noticed your request...

    I'm interested in any reactions you may have to it--emotionally, stylistically, technically, or whatever-ly.

    If I had not read your introduction to the image....

    Your image brings to mind

    1. A barren dark world with hope for the future (because of the light in the foreground)

    2. A world reminiscent of a fairy tale or Harry Potter adventure, where the world in the foreground is a happy, magical place and the world beyond is a dark dangerous place... The world beyond could also be wonderful place full of adventure beckoning me to explore it.

  7. #7

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    Re: To See the West, Go East

    Quote Originally Posted by Christina S View Post
    ............... I adore the composition and I loved reading your intro.
    So did I. A really broody landscape with plenty of impact. If I'm honest, perhaps a little too contrasty for my taste - but that's my taste.

  8. #8
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: To See the West, Go East

    It could also represent the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust... a few years later... with the light and new growth representing hope for the newly emerging world

  9. #9

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    Re: To See the West, Go East

    Thanks to each of you for your thoughts.

    Christina, I thought I had "re-imagined" this image recently, but you've pushed into new creative territory. I may have to get you to write the stories to go with the pictures.

    Albert, yes, exactly. This is a good example of what I was talking about.

    Shane, this shot was made--longer ago than I realized, about 10 years; how time flies--with a Canon 10D (now retired) and a Canon 17-40mm f/4 lens set at 21mm, ISO 100, f/19, 1/15 sec on a tripod. It was late in the day with strong contrasty side lighting as the sun was low in the sky. Dark storm clouds were brewing. I accentuated that in this B&W conversion by use of a red filter effect in NIK Silver Efex Pro 2, within Photoshop. There are many ways to interpret this scene, but here I was going for a moody feel. It was the first time I had traveled to that area, and the terrain was so striking and different than anything I had seen previously. I felt very privileged to have those moody skies coincide with my first visit.
    Last edited by Arlen; 7th September 2013 at 06:59 PM.

  10. #10
    Wavelength's Avatar
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    Re: To See the West, Go East

    I love the the enigma created by the image...what's next to happen?
    Regards

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