Friday, February 28, 2014

Contender TJ Thorne

2014 American Landscape Contest Contender TJ Thorne found personal balance while photographing the Columbia River Gorge during the off-season

This Article Features Photo Zoom
Photographer: TJ Thorne

Location: Columbia River Gorge, OR

When did you take the photograph? Decmeber 9th, 2013

Equipment: Nikon D600, AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm f/4G ED VR, Hoya HD Circular Porlaizer, tripod, Giotto Rocketblower, Kahtoola Microspikes, Neoprene Waders

The story behind the shot:
This place is definitely one of the greenest places I've been to in the spring. The sword, maidenhair, and lady ferns, combined with the carpet of moss covering the trees and cliff walls make it seem like you're existing in a fairytale. During a recent deep freeze I decided to make the trek and capture it in rare form. I spent about 4 hours at this location trying to capture every composition in perfect detail and exposure. This is directly in the spray zone. With the sub-freezing temperatures the spray instantly formed ice on my camera and lens. I would have to scrape my lens while covering it with my hat. Then I'd hang my hat off the lens and wait for a lull in spray and fire off my bracketed exposures. Then I'd focus in a little closer, scrape, cover, wait, fire. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Did you use any special techniques in-camera or in post-processing?
I shot for focus bracketing and blended the exposures by hand in post-processing.

Why is this scene of the American Landscape special to you?
Being in the outdoors is always a special experience for me. It's my balance. This is a location that is known for it's spring conditions and I haven't seen many photos in other seasons. The solo hike and image capturing process was really cathartic for me. I was in the middle of the forest standing in a secluded frozen stream and I'm the only person in the world who got to see this particular scene. I returned to the city with my mind and heart cleansed and still made it to work by 2pm.


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