“Gorge”ous Light

As a photographer, I am constantly out chasing light. I find beautiful light and look for something interesting to include in the frame. (A Joe McNally quote) Such was a recent outing to the Columbia Gorge to photograph the waterfalls. We stopped in at Crown Point and when we entered the building I was instantly drawn to the sunlight shining through the stained glass. It literally glowed. I liked the graphic lines of the diagonal staircase, the vertical rails and the horizontal bench drawing me through the frame. I moved in tight to create a very simple composition, all color and graphic lines and did a 5 frame bracket knowing I would be using all the exposures to create an HDR later in the digital darkroom. I used Photomatix Pro 3.0 to process the HDR and then used NIK Tonal Contrast and Glamour Glow as finishing touches…

It’s not often that I see sunlight on the rock face at Multnomah Falls. It’s either overcast or the wrong time of the year. Thursday was both a beautiful, sunny day and a summer afternoon which meant we had light on the upper wall and falls. Once again, I had an exposure challenge capturing the detail of the upper falls in the light and the lower falls in shadow. I dialed in a 5 stop bracket and fired off five frames in rapid succession, hand held. A quick trip through Photomatix Pro 3.0 and into Photoshop CS5 where I used PhotoTools Professional 2.5 from OnOne Software Brush Brighter to brighten the lower falls and rock and then added Kyoko Punch with fade at 50…

The ever patient Emily who was seeing all this splendor for the first time was gazing off into the forest as I photographed yet another stream and as I turned to move on I saw the light falling on her face and saying “Hold that pose” I brought my camera to my eye, dialed in -1 exposure compensation to add some drama to the background forest and clicked off a half a dozen frames. Emily turned to me, smiled and moved a step forward and the moment was gone. I love this frame! The light falling on Emily’s face is simply, gorge-ous!…

Light is everywhere we look. Light has quality, quantity and direction. Finding that magical moment when the light falls on an interesting subject is what keeps me going out time and time again. On this day I chose one camera, one lens and a pocket full of CF cards.

Images created with Nikon D3S, AF-S 24-70mm 2.8 on Lexar Digital Media