Sunrise Tom McCall Preserve

Sunrise over the yellows and purples of the flowers in the Tom McCall Nature Preserve (Philip A. Knouf)

Sunrise over the yellows and purples of the flowers in the Tom McCall Nature Preserve (Philip A. Knouf)

This gorgeous sunrise was taken a short way up the trail to Tom McCall Point at the Tom McCall Preserve just west of the small town of Rowena Oregon.  I arrived about one hour before sunrise to scout out a location for the image I knew I wanted to create.  As I am still in a recovery mode from many, many months of Chemo I was not able to go very far up the almost two mile trail to the top but was very fortunate to find this large meadow of flowers.  The Columbia Gorge Broad-leaf Lupines and the Northwestern Balsamroot flowers were out in peak bloom.  The challenge was to find a suitable location amongst the mass of blooms.  I choose this spot but probably would have found many other pleasing compositions throughout the meadow.  I do know I will be back next year to discover other interesting viewpoints.  It would also be nice to hike to Tom McCall Point for sunrise or sunset.

This image is my first attempt to blend two or more exposures in Photoshop.  When the dynamic range of the scene exceeds the total range of light to dark image luminance, then you can either bias your exposure toward the highlights and thus loose shadow detail or bias your exposure toward the shadows and risk blocking up your highlights.  By taking a range of 2 to 5 or more exposures from normal to over and under exposure, you can ensure that you have captured the full dynamic range of the scene.  In Photoshop CS5 I blended  two exposures together to produce this image.  I used advanced luminosity masking techniques which facilitates blending portions of two or more images together to produce an expanded dynamic range image.  I gained the knowledge to produce this image through helpful tutorials by Tony Kuyper, and videos by Sean Bagshaw and Zack Schnepf .  And I had fun doing it!

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