Dick Knudson  

Painted Hills by Dick Knudson

June 2021 - Painted Hills

June 2021 - Dick Knudson


About the Image(s)

Painted Hills in Oregon, USA, provides some wonderful opportunities for abstracts. When I took this photo, I wanted to show the antelope tracks the looked like a tattoo on a person's shoulder. Others have found sensuous interpretations with a man or woman on the left and a woman on the right. I had never converted it to BW before this month, but as part of a study of tonality, it came forth. The shape at the bottom is a bit distracting, but I shall have to deal with that next time I visit the location. The ISO 400 was pretty much the limit of the old camera I used at the time; I am keen to see what my more modern kit would do today. Lots of Photoshop work with saturation, dodge/burn; much of which applies Allister Benn's history brush technique. Canon EOS Digital rebel xTi 100mm f/11, 1/640 ISO 400

7 comments posted

Haru Nagasaki   Haru Nagasaki
Wow! this is a great challenge, Dick!
I have no critique on the tonal range. I am comfortable with that.
I am keeping looking at this again and again, but I could not detect a man nor woman on the left or right with my limited imagination - Sorry...
I maybe say I could detect a man with beard with an eye open on the fur right block.
Well, you are successful in the sense that the image makes me keep watching it. That means that this image is powerful.
Well done!
Thank you for sharing.
  Posted: 06/02/2021 20:31:35

Ata Kemal Sahin   Ata Kemal Sahin
Hi Dick, both the color and bnw versions are incredible, thanks for sharing. I have some views and questions: I guess, you didn't shoot with your back to the sun, have you used any filter? In my opinion, ISO 400 has limited you a bit so you're going to shoot again with a modern kit i.e. lower aperture, lower shutter speed and a higher ISO. You really did a good job with old camera and awaiting your next shot.   Posted: 06/04/2021 01:36:57
Dick Knudson   Dick Knudson
The sun was to my left. With older camera, ISO 400 was a bit grainy. The same settings with modern camera would probably yield more nuanced colors and texture.   Posted: 06/04/2021 08:10:02

Arne Skinlo   Arne Skinlo
Interesting that you have used Allister Benn`s history brush technique. I tried it out some time ago and found it too complicated. Use the 50% grey method instead.

I like the abstract look, it takes some training to find motives like this as they are not very obvious when seeing them together with everything else. The work on tonality is very successful and the diagonal lines make the image interesting. The grain is slightly disturbing. By using 1/125s shutter speed, the ISO would be low enough for preventing grain. Personally, I use Topaz Denoise which does a very good job.   Posted: 06/10/2021 00:28:06
Dick Knudson   Dick Knudson
Thank you. When this image was taken, I had not learned to be very thoughtful about camera settings. 1/640 was certainly not necessary; those hills were not going anywhere. I don't remember, but maybe I was not using a tripod.   Posted: 06/10/2021 13:22:50

Dick Knudson   Dick Knudson
Arne, when you refer to grain, I am not sure what you mean. The red and orange soil is laterite, which takes on a surface texture of pea-sized granules. Do you see grain beyond that?   Posted: 06/11/2021 11:50:53

Bill Foy   Bill Foy
Haru is correct - this powerful image keeps drawing me back, particularly the area with the tracks. I like abstracts and guessed I was seeing a tree branch, or a leaf, perhaps a fruit or vegetable and, last, sand mounds with tracks. I think your tonal range is good.   Posted: 06/11/2021 13:18:33


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