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August 29, 2008


West Virginia Photo Trip Part 4: Abandoned Chevy HDR & Intimate Woods

by josephrossbachphoto

This is an image that took me by complete surprise. I was driving a dirt forest road behind North Fork Mountain in search of a trail head I wanted to explore for a possible entry point to the central section of the North Fork Mountain trail system. When I came across this abandoned truck in the middle of a farm field I knew it would be perfect for HDR. I parked the car and walked up to the nearest house to ask for permission to shoot on the property. I always gain permission when shooting on private land. A young boy answered the door and told me that it was his grandfathers farm and if I drove down the road just a bit I would see his house on the far end of the farm.  So I did. I ended up meeting the owner of the property who was at first very reluctant to allow me to shoot on his property in fear of me working for the National Forest Service. He told me the NFS has been trying to purchase or possess his property for the past 20 years. After talking a bit and showing him my portfolio, business cards and promos, he finally loosened up and we had a great conversation on the history of the area and life in general. i always enjoys meeting such interesting and strong characters in my travels. For the image above I choose my wide angle lens to include the entire truck against the farm, hills and interesting cloud formations in the sky. I shot this image at 5 frames at 1ev intervals and processed the shot in Photomatix HDR with finishing touches applied in Adobe Lightroom V2.

While hiking through in the vicinity of the Otter Creek Wilderness earlier in the day when the sun was still low in the sky and the forest in deep shade, I came across this wonderful scene in the forest. The 3 trees were a perfect fit and the yellow flowers and green foliage just jumped out at me. Using my 80-200mm allowed me to perfectly line up a simple and intimate composition. It was important to not have the 3 trees merge togehter, so I moved to the left and right until all picture elements were properly seperated. The light was soft and very blue in the hollow of the woods, so I bumped up my Kelvin Temperture to K7100 to kill the strong blue cast. This is essentially the same as using a 81 series warming filter which is something we had to use in the good old days of film. I took my first shot and checked the histogram and composition on the back of my camera. All looked good, but some of the areas in the background where in a deeper shade and recorded a bit to dark for my taste. I decided to shoot 3 frames a 1ev intervals. It was important to shoot a bunch of shots over and over as a slight breeze was blowing and I wanted to make sure all of the picture elements ( leaves, flowers and branches) lined up perfectly for post processing. This image was cooked in Photomatix HDR and once again finishing touches such as tone, contrast and saturation were applied in Lightroom V2.

1 Comment Post a comment
  1. Aug 30 2008

    Beautiful HDR image of the truck.
    As an aside, I wonder if you always think of what would be a perfect scene for HDR?
    There are times when a scene doesn’t evoke thoughts of HDR, turns out to be quite surprising. Any thoughts on that?


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