We received more than 1,700 submissions to our 2019 The American Landscape Photography Contest. The following slideshow displays our 25 finalist images, as well as the three winning shots!
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Photographer: Dale Johnson
Description: The Palouse area of Washington State is very popular amongst photographers, especially in the late spring when the wheat fields are filling in with the color of green. Not too far from the farmland is Palouse Falls State Park, with its namesake waterfall as its main attraction. The waterfall cuts through a gorge and falls 198 feet into the canyon below. This was my second time to the falls and since there was to be no moon that night, I hoped to capture the starry sky with the milky way in the image. From my earlier trip to the falls, I knew that once the sun goes down and the light leaves the sky, the canyon becomes a black hole, making it nearly impossible to capture any detail of the canyon without massively long exposures and high ISO. So, I had planned this in advance. I took the image of the canyon about 20 minutes after sunset while there was still some light in the canyon. I then waited about 2 hours with the tripod and camera locked down until the milky way appeared. I then took a shot, exposing for the sky. I combined the two to get this image, like an HDR image, but with a two-hour delay between shots.
Gear & Settings: Nikon D850, Sigma 14mm f1.8 lens. Exposure: Canyon – 2 sec., ƒ/11, ISO 64. Sky – 20 sec., ƒ/1.8, ISO 2500.