Saturday, January 30, 2010

Photochallenge 2010: Week 5

The second month's topic for the yearly photochallenge is Natural Landscape. In this context, "Natural" is defined as having no man made objects in the scene. I live in a beautiful area of the country, with gorgeous mountains on all sides and two large lakes nearby. However, being a fairly built up metropolitan area, it does take a bit of a drive to get to locations without evidence of human habitation. I may have to bend the concept of landscape at times to make some images this month.

In any case, my wife and I took a drive this afternoon with the intent of finding a good spot with the evening's sunset for this week's challenge. I planned to at least start with an image that didn't push the definitions too much. Heading out of town, we planned a quick errand. Unfortunately, it took much longer than anticipated and we didn't make it out of town until after sunset had already started.

A while later, as she drove down a back road, I watched a barely visible mountain range slide by my window with city lights illuminating the clouds from the other side. Wondering what the sensor might see, I picked up the camera and clicked. Fifteen seconds later I had nothing but a colorful blur. Hmmm. Looked like possibly some potential.
I had an idea for a composite image, but needed some additional raw material to work with. So much for a standard landscape shot. With peaked interest, I asked her to pull over at the next wide spot. I got out, set up the tripod and made some more exposures. Nothing too spectacular, in and of themselves, but I thought they might work well enough for what I had in mind.
When we got home, I loaded the images into the computer and went to work. With some experimentation, this image finally emerged. It's not what I had visualized; it has a completely different feel to it, but I like it more.
Hidden City Lights

After I finished this first version, I decided to go back and edit the images again to attempt what I had pre-visualized. It was much easier to do and my wife actually prefers it over the previous one.
Landscape Dream

So, two very different final products made from the same two base images. Which do you prefer?
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