Today I’m starting a new feature on my blog called “Archive Dive”. Every once in a while I’ll find an unloved, unprocessed photo just sitting on my hard drive waiting to be shared with the world. Usually, these are photos that didn’t make the initial cut and were forgotten when I moved on to other projects. Once in a while, typically when I’m digging through my files for a submission, I’ll come across one of these photos and I’ll wonder, “How did I miss this one?” A little Lightroom love and those long lost photos are ready to be introduced to the world. Here is the first one and a brief history of the image.
Two years ago I led a summer workshop in the Tetons. I decided to take the scenic route from Moab and drove along the western edge of the Tetons through Driggs and Tetonia into Targhee National Forest before turning east into Yellowstone National Park. I had hoped to photograph sunset on the Tetons from Idaho, which was something I’d never done. The weather had other ideas. I never even saw the Tetons from Idaho as they were socked in with boring gray clouds. I saw Upper and Lower Mesa Falls on the map and as is common with me, I turned off-route and headed into the unknown.
The falls were both impressive but difficult to photograph well, especially in unrelenting rain. Back on the road I rounded a bend just in time to see a cow moose and her adorable calf cross the road. Mama stepped right over a fence while the baby stopped, then began to panic because it couldn’t get over or through. The cow kindly stepped back over the fence and stood watch while her baby figured out a way to get through the fence, followed shortly thereafter by Mom. I drove on, and right around the next bend in the road a steep, rugged hillside covered in evergreen trees came into view. Clouds wafted lazily down the slope. It was still raining so I pulled over and photographed the scene before me from the driver’s seat with the window partially rolled down. Thank God for image stabilization.
Of course, the image was originally photographed in color. That version didn’t grab me and I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me then that it would make a fantastic black and white photograph. When I saw it sitting on my hard drive tonight, my first thought was “monochrome!” I did the initial processing in Lightroom 3 (I’m not cool enough to have a machine that will run LR4) and used Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 to do the conversion. I also used Nik Color Efex Pro 3 to add a little contrast to the highlights and mid-tones. I finished the process with Nik Sharpener Pro after sizing the image for the web and converting to jpeg.
So there you have it, the whole story behind today’s “Archive Dive” image, Evergreen Trees and Clouds, Idaho.
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