The Story

The other day, I posted an image taken from the Vista House that sits atop the Columbia River Gorge. This shot was taken within a few minutes of that. I just swiveled to the left a bit when I saw this gorgeous cloud moving over Washington. There was something very amazing about it because from the distance, the cloud looked like it wasn’t much higher above the hilltop. This was accentuated with the compression that my 70-200mm lens provided. And it was in thinking about this that I realized how important perspective is, even down to the choice of lens. The right combination of place, time, hardware, know-how, creativity and luck can come together in some amazing ways.

In terms of processing

This is actually a seven exposure tone-mapped HDR image. I used Photomatix Pro for the tone-mapping.

Stylization was done in Perfect Effects 4 by +onOne Software. I masked Magic Sunset on the sky and Magic Forest on the foreground. I also applied a custom Tone Enhancer and a Rich Glow.

Next, I sent the image to FocalPoint 2.1, where I rendered some of the foreground and the hills beyond the lit one slightly out of focus. This helped me simulate the signature look of a miniature world created with a tilt shift lens.

Final touches were applied in Lightroom 4.3 RC.

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