It’s time for A Personal Photo Challenge! “Water” is the theme this month.
Plans for this challenge had to be scrapped. My computer is still at the Apple Store repair shop, and I don’t have access to the photos I had prepared. As a result, I dug into my archives on an external hard drive and went shopping for some images taken during our August 2012 trip to northern Montana, Glacier National Park, and Waterton, Canada. I had never touched these particular files, so the post-processing is fresh from the digital oven! (I’m much obliged to Mr. Jim for lending me access to his Photoshop program and various Nik filter plug-ins.) Because of the lighting conditions, I did not use a polarizing filter when I took these images. Ordinarily, I would use such a filter for landscapes that include water.
We decided that if we were going to go all the way to northern Montana, then visiting the Waterton Lakes National Park on the Canadian side was essential. And what’s a trip to the charming village of Waterton without admiring the renowned Prince of Wales Hotel, right? Well, we did more than admire it. We stayed there for two glorious nights! Our room had a spectacular view out to the water and the park mountains, with the U.S. border in the far distance. Our room was located on the right-hand wing, second balcony, to the far left.
Built in 1927, the Prince of Wales Hotel is one of the largest all-wood buildings in the Alberta Province. This historic landmark has survived wind, fire, and even the 1930s depression. We certainly enjoyed this stunning view of it, from the water's vantage point, when we cruised Upper Waterton Lake, with rainclouds and mist providing a dramatic background.
f/10, 1/400 second, ISO 400
Our destination on the cruise was eight miles south, over on the U.S. side of the border, and a visit the Goat Haunt Ranger Station. We showed our passports here to the border guards and got a special stamp in our passports at the International Peace Pavilion. Nestled along the shoreline, the ranger station has quite a dramatic setting.
f/11, 1/400 second, ISO 400
The last photo of my challenge offering was taken at Running Eagle Falls (also known as Trick Falls), located in the Two Medicine Valley of Glacier National Park. It is named after a female Blackfeet warrior born in the early 1770s. This waterfall is quite unique because it is actually a double waterfall. Water rushes over the top and through the middle of the rock throughout most of the year. In the late summer, when we visited, water was flowing only through the lower falls.
This was a difficult scene to photograph because the foreground was much darker than the distant mountain peak during our visit. Though today's camera sensors are technological marvels, they do have limitations with extreme variations of exposure within a single scene. I shot it based on an average exposure, knowing up-front that I could coax the digital information out of the various areas with Photoshop. The mountain was overexposed, and the rest of the scene was underexposed. Instead of compositing multiple exposures to create a high dynamic range (HDR) image, I used only one RAW file. I adjusted exposures dramatically downward in the highlights and upward in the shadows. Only a RAW file can provide enough digital information to make these kinds of major adjustments with success. A jpeg format would probably not be up to the task. After looking at the pathetic original file (straight out of the camera), I was more than pleased with the final result. I hope you will agree.
f/11, 1/80 second, ISO 200
Now that you’ve seen my photos and read my post, I hope you will visit A Personal Photo Challenge blog and check out the creative efforts of other participants. Thank you so much!