Monday, February 3, 2014

Contender Michael Brandt

2014 American Landscape Contest Contender Michael Brandt weather watched to discover the best conditions during peak wildflower season in Columbia Hills State Park

This Article Features Photo Zoom
Photographer: Michael Brandt

Location: Columbia Hills State Park, Washington State

When did you take the photograph? April 24th, 2013

Equipment: Nikon D800, AF-S NIkkor 24-120mm f/4G ED VR lens, Manfrotto 190XPROB tripod, Manfrotto MH054M0-Q2 054 Magnesium Ballhead

The story behind the shot: .
Each spring, the Columbia Hills area explodes with wildflowers, mostly Arrowleaf Balsamroot and Lupin. It isn't long lived, two weeks at most. As the time approached I began monitoring web sites and calling a relative closer to the area to determine when the peak was occurring for the season. This area of the gorge receives a lot of wind, sometimes for days on end, thus I monitored the weather and a two to three day window very light wind conditions appeared to be opening. I spent the better part of the mid day hours scouting. I settled upon this view, an area with a good bloom and a nice clump of flowers for the foreground with Mt. Hood rising in the background.

Did you use any special techniques in-camera or in post-processing?
The primary special technique I used was focus stacking. I decided to do this to maintain sharpness and depth of field in the flower field.

Why is this scene of the American Landscape special to you?
This area and photograph was high on my list this past spring. It is an incredible experience to be there in the peak bloom. Often you almost have the entire 3800 acres to yourself and to just be able to be there is reward in itself. To both experience this great landscape and to be able to capture a piece of it's grandeur in an effective way is very rewarding, a highlight of my year.


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