Hells Gate State Park 1

I recently stayed night and got to take some nice hikes at Hells Gate State Park.  Due to the amount of editing for each photograph taken on each hike, the trip photographs will be split into two blogs posts.

For the first hike, or really more of a walk, we went to the basalt columns at the park, which originated from the Pomona lava flows millions of years ago.  These basalt columns are commonly found in the nearby channeled scablands of southeastern Washington.

For most of the photographs below my workflow was approximately like this: I first used Nik Dfine 2 to remove noise; then, I used Nik RAW Presharpener; then, Nik Viveza; then, Nik Color Efex with a Vignette: Lens, Foliage Film Efex: Modern; and, finally Nik Output Sharpener.  Each of these photos took about 40 minutes to process due to the low amount of memory my computer has and the high amount of editing I actually did.  Most of the editing was done to increase photorealism, not to oversensationalize the scene.

For these photographs I tried to focus on my composition and not just taking photographs.  I had already done some of this but I wanted to make a more conscious effort to focus on making photographs and not just taking photographs.

On the drive there I got a picture of this handsome tree sitting all alone out in the vast rolling hills of the Palouse.

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As we progressed along the hike we entered the mouth of Hells Canyon, the deepest river gorge in North America.  You start to see some outcroppings of the generally hexagonal-shaped basalt columns.

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I encountered this cool basalt column island that was right on the shore of the path.

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Cool geology and cool birds’ nests.8W4A0346 copy 8W4A0347 copy

It is cool to see that it appears that some of the columns are rusting.8W4A0355 copy

With the two photographs below I tried to focus on the basalt columns behind aspen trees.8W4A0377 copy8W4A0378 copy 8W4A0380 copy

It is fascinating to see the geometry that occurs in nature.  Seeing the geometry that occurs in basalt columns is especially fascinating.  I also love seeing the foliage growing on and near the basalt columns.  It demonstrates how even in difficult conditions live will prevail.

I think that I did well with focusing on composition.  I tried to divide many of the photographs in half to develop a contrast, and I certainly succeeded in that


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