Wes Odell  

Wolf creek pass by Wes Odell

July 2021 - Wolf creek pass

July 2021 - Wes Odell


About the Image(s)

Taken in the Wasatch Mountains just East of Salt Lake City while on a late autumn drive, I spotted this Sheepherder's Camp with his horse tethered in a small grove of Aspen trees. I've tried a lot of Nik pre-sets, and this is the best I could come up with .... Any suggestions?

19 comments posted

Russ Butler   Russ Butler
Wes, all I see is your original...   Posted: 07/03/2021 19:43:50

Wes Odell   Wes Odell
I don't know what's going on. I sent it to Diana. I just did a Choose file (a jpg) and it doesn't come along. Dunno.   Posted: 07/03/2021 20:14:21

Wes Odell   Wes Odell
4th try:

Aha!!!! the jpg that wouldn't load was larger than 1 Meg. Here it is.   Posted: 07/03/2021 20:17:19
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Diana Magor   Diana Magor
I have reloaded several times and this one worked. Sorry about that!
I like this a lot. It has a feel of being way out in the countryside with the horse wondering why it is abandoned there. I like the slightly soft look to the whole picture and how the trees fade into the snow in the distance.

Lovely ethereal quality.   Posted: 07/05/2021 06:37:01
Wes Odell   Wes Odell
Thanks. I wouldn't have taken the shot if the horse hadn't been there. And: Looking at me. I wonder what it was thinking, or hoping?...... that is the story I saw.   Posted: 07/05/2021 06:41:57

Wes Odell   Wes Odell
I found a way to improve my photo prints: Get more expensive papers, such as the many varieties of Hahnemuhle Baryta. Red River has three excellent papers in their "high end"..... UltraPro Luster 300 #5208, Palo Duro SoftGloss Rag #1306, and their Baryta.
Hahn.... has two nice Sample Packs: Glossy Fine Art, and Matte Fine Art.   Posted: 07/05/2021 09:49:52
Lynne Hollingsworth   Lynne Hollingsworth
Red River paper is great quality and they sell different sample packs. Good paper makes a world of difference in my prints.   Posted: 07/06/2021 19:46:10
Lynne Hollingsworth   Lynne Hollingsworth
Red River paper is great quality and they sell different sample packs. Good paper makes a world of difference in my prints.   Posted: 07/07/2021 19:46:46

Russ Butler   Russ Butler
For me this is an interesting image & from somewhere I remember. Also, it looks like it could be a deer hunt & first snow. Your capture of the aspens & horse are pleasing to me. It has a nice impact & composition. Well done Wes   Posted: 07/05/2021 15:30:55
Wes Odell   Wes Odell
Yep, First Snow, which when it falls in the SL Valley area usually melts. When we had a cabin at 10k ft in Colorado, we'd always leave after the first snow, but before the second one comes...... it stays until May or early June.   Posted: 07/05/2021 16:55:33

Stephen Levitas   Stephen Levitas
This is great. Good eye to see this, although it still would have been a good shot without the horse.
The snowy area is blown-out white and I think might benefit from darker trees. Just my take on this. What do you think?   Posted: 07/05/2021 23:30:13
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Wes Odell   Wes Odell
Yep, the snow is white white, but as I darken it the horse doesn't stand out as well, so I left it white white.
  Posted: 07/07/2021 11:31:56

Tom McCreary   Tom McCreary
What a great to eye to see, and then capture this image. The mono is much better than the color. The horse really makes this image. Like Diana said, I also like the distant trees fading out. I would get rid of the writing on the second tree from the right. I think that it is the contrast, but it draws my eye. It is a shame that people think that they need to leave their name everywhere.   Posted: 07/06/2021 15:38:09

Jennifer Doerrie   Jennifer Doerrie
The horse looking at you is awesome. I like the monochrome conversion on the aspen trees, and it seems fine on the horse, but the snow does appear very bright. Of course, that's a challenge to avoid with so much white subject matter. I think the border you added works well with this image.   Posted: 07/07/2021 00:17:03

Lynne Hollingsworth   Lynne Hollingsworth
This image reminds me of a forest that could be in one of The Brothers Grimm fairy tales. I like the ethereal feel and the depth brought out by the trees fading in the back. The whites are a little too bright, but if you choose to darken the trees it would need a very slight hand to keep the fantasy feel. As Tom mentions, I too would clone out the writing on the trees.

The horse helps to make the image stand out. It indeed may be wondering why it's been left there, or on the flip side it may be curious as to why you're there. Nice image.   Posted: 07/07/2021 05:57:33
Wes Odell   Wes Odell
The area where I found this image was near to our home (an hour) and the roads were clear, a nice day, and just wandering in the dirt roads just off the highway. The horse was tethered by his owner a Latin American herder who was camped nearby. Just one of those interesting scenes and fortuitious that I saw it. I used to do a lot of scouting for interesting places for a deer hunt. This was one of those days.   Posted: 07/07/2021 11:28:54

Wes Odell   Wes Odell
The attached is an essay prepared for another ph Club. Opinions welcome

To "Take" or "Make" a Photograph: An Essay by Wes Odell

If you, kind reader, have gotten here, you most likely have a serious interest in photography. The following brief essay is based on years of Gallery Curating, Photo Judging, and Photo Teaching, plus a lot of reading of "the literature." The genesis of this essay was when a Professional Curator and Judge was discussing the Texas Photographic Society's (TPS) results and awards at a Members Only Show. She said that "whenever I judge photos I need to remember the difference between a Photo of a Beautiful Subject vs. a Beautiful Photo of a Subject."

The former category, "Beautiful Subjects," includes record shots, images that could be postcards, and snap shots. These are the kind of subjects that "anyone" could "go and take" given the same season and weather conditions. Many photographers seem to have a "fast food" mentality. The photographer sees an image, grabs a camera, and snaps a couple pictures. Then back to the car and off to the next item on the menu. At the end of the day the memory card may be full, but what of the quality of those images?

The "Beautiful Photographs" differ in some artistic or compositional aspect and have a story to tell; and would be difficult to replicate by another person. I.E., "one of a kinds." These are the ones to whom this Judge would give, and did give the awards. Have you heard or have you as a judge said, "I've seen this image/or view before, so what makes it different and winnable?"

This delineation in no way is intended to disparage vacation, event, record, happy snappy, and grab shots, because a photograph is intended to be a memory "rememberer" of an event, or people gatherings, as examples. And, most importantly, one needs to remember that it takes only ONE PERSON to like a photograph to make it a GOOD Photo. It's all in what the objective of the photographer was when "Taking" the photograph. If the picture satisfies the objective, then it is a good photo. But it may not win a prize in a Photo Contest. And, we must remember that all photos taken are not intended for competition, but for many other valid reasons as well.

But for those of us whose practice is Photo Competitions, "Taking" a picture usually doesn't make the grade. One must "Make" the photo. (None of this is related to what we call "post processing," but relates to "work in the field.") Discussion follows:

Though impassioned photography is desirable, one needs to be able to distance oneself from that passion in order to objectively "Make" the composition and tell the story. (It is sometimes now referred to as "gesture.") The job is to take the fragments of scenes and organize them in such a way that the chaos and haphazardness of the situation (e.g., nature) are expressed in a simple, orderly manner by selecting those elements that will best describe the subject as you wish to capture it. And, leaving out or compositionally removing those elements that don't support your Primary Subject (or Story) by just altering the Point of View. (Get higher, get lower, move left or right, closer, further, Landscape format vs. Portrait format, long focal length vs wide, backgrounds and foregrounds, etc…… And perhaps a decision to come back another day when the weather and time of day are friendlier.) This is indeed not the arena for happy snappies. Time and contemplation are your friends. Some have said that if "it" doesn't support the subject, then it detracts from the overall image.

Start by "Defining your subject." Ask yourself, "What exactly is my subject?" "What attracted me to this subject?" "What makes it special and unique?" Unique is good in the eyes of many Photo Judges. Sweep the edges and the background of the image which are the places that most damage is done to a good photo. (e.g., a bright leaf or a piece of trash, (i.e., an "artifact") an unwanted fence, an intruding branch, an item/artifact that could be a competing element to the primary subject. Be like the farmer who "walks his fences each morning," and sweep the perimeter of your eyepiece for unwanted elements and eye-snags. Take the time to view your subject from different angles and try placing the subject in different positions in the frame. Sometimes, just a slight shift in camera placement can make your image work. Again: Bad backgrounds can and more often than not, do ruin wonderful images. Consider your depth of field and change your focus and focal length settings if beneficial. Placement of the subject, including Curves and Diagonals needs to be considered. Are objects that are best when sharp, really sharp enough, and did the blurry objects get relegated to the outer edges such as a bokeh background or selective focus for blurry foregrounds. Think about what you may have to do in post processing when you get back to your lab. Would HDR or Focus Stacking help? If so, get the additional images NOW. Don't just snap and walk away.

It is not easy to develop a photographic style that exhibits both science and poetry. Poetry enters photographs by way of the creative soul but is facilitated by technique. Eliot Porter said that a true work of art is "the creation of love; love for the subject first and for the medium second." It means achieving a kind of intimacy in our images; to provide information about and convey our love for our subjects, so that they will be appreciated by our viewers.

In summary, successful photography requires the grasp of technical and compositional knowledge combined with the ability to capture the poetic, or the story. Science, knowledge of light, and one's equipment, are essential, but it is poetry that will carry that image to a higher, more emotional, and thus more successful level. (Take or Make: Your choice.)

  Posted: 07/07/2021 20:18:17
Russ Butler   Russ Butler
Awesome. Your message helps me re-think photography in a creative way. You are a Master. I enjoy learning from you.
Thanks for sharing...   Posted: 07/07/2021 22:58:19
Wes Odell   Wes Odell
thanx......w   Posted: 07/08/2021 05:18:36


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