On Sunday, I indulged in a wonderful little solo jaunt through the Columbia River Gorge. I didn’t have any agenda or hard set plans – I just got in my car and drove by myself. It was exactly what I needed and something that I encourage all of you to do every now and again (I know I will).
My first stop along the scenic byway was the Women’s Forum. I’ve shot from this area many times but never really walked away with an image that I was really happy with until now. The particular vantage point from here offers a stunning view of the famous Vista House at Crown Point, regally perched over the Gorge. I used my Canon 70-200mm lens with the Canon 1.4x teleconverter to get as close as possible while maximizing lens compression. This gave me the framing that I needed.
Now, when I sat down to process the image, I wanted to give the shot a feeling like it was a still from a Lord of the Rings movie, or something of that nature. I really wanted to infuse a sense of fantasy and otherworldliness. By stacking and masking several key effects (more on that below), along with blending in a texture overlay, I feel that I was able to give this oft-shot image a new feel. It’s one of the reasons why I absolutely love post-processing stylization.
Furthermore, a large part of me was influenced by my absolutely fabulous friend, http://bit.ly/LBM7hw, who posted a shot of this area when we visited it a few months back. I’ll never forget seeing it and I wholly attribute a lot of my inspiration for this shot to her:
In terms of processing
The stylization played a huge roll in getting this image to the place where I had hoped it would be. First, I applied the Blue Dawn effect to the background image, which gave it a painterly feel. To contrast that, I selectively applied the Vecchio and Green Enhancer effects to the foreground, helping it pop off of the background. All effects are found in Perfect Effects 3 by .
Next, I brought the image into Photoshop CS6 and made a selection around the foreground and then inverted it. By doing so, I was able to bring the image into FocalPoint 2 (also by onOne) and selectively blur only the background, leaving the foreground in perfect focus. This was key to further aiding in popping the foreground.
After that, I returned back into Perfect Effects 3 to apply a minimal amount of the Rice Paper Light texture overlay across the entire image, barely masking it off of the foreground.
Final touches were applied in Lightroom 4.1RC2.