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Crescent Valley – Part II

Today’s look at Crescent Valley is a blend of both my expectations of the town and what I found once we arrived. Bruce Percy once said (and I’m paraphrasing a bit) “what it is that attracts you to an image is what what you should focus on”. I remind myself of this phrase often when I’m out an about making images. That, and always lookout for rattle snakes. So what was it that attracted me to this image of an abandoned trailer in the middle of this valley? Well, it was in part the trailer itself, however what was far more compelling with the isolation of the trailer imposed by the vastness of the valley. Knowing what my interest in the image was, helped to guide my vision and subsequently my capture. I tried several approaches to the image, some of which I might share later, but nothing was really working. I eventually settled on a cinematic approach I had been working on back home. Once I got back to the darkroom and stitched the three images together, I experienced what it was that drew me to this scene.

The Story of Crescent Valley

Remember, you can always click on an image to view a larger version and save it to your computer as a desktop wallpaper. I hope you enjoy this one!

Photographic Note: I’m quite excited about this image for a couple of reasons.

  • 1) I have been working on developing a more cinematic approach to my image making. I spent much of the summer experimenting around home trying to hone my vision. Finally, I found a place where I could put my practice to good use. To achieve my vision and make this image, I shot 3 frames using my Nikon 45mm PC-E lens then merged them into a single panorama using Photoshop CS5. (I talk about the lens and how I used it in the video below) I’m excited about the results and where my photography is headed. By no means am I ‘there’, heck I don’t know if I would ever want to be ‘there’. The creative process is evolution. That’s what makes it so rewarding. I will say that I’m very aware of the evolution inside of me and I’m excited to see where it leads. I hope you all hang on for the ride!
  • 2)Enough of the existential stuff, another reason I’m fired up about this image is that I used (and can now talk about) Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro 4. I beta tested it and actually participated a bit in the filter selection. There is a funny story about that in the video. Here are a few reasons why it’s worth the upgrade. New filters, stacking multiple filters, saving stacks of multiple filters as ‘Recipes’, sharing stacks of multiple filters saved as ‘Recipes’ with the photographic community. There is a lot more than that, but you get the idea. As always you can use the code LIGHTASMAGIC to save yourself a few bucks and at the same time help me bring videos like this to you.

Capture Notes:

Processing Notes:

Capture – 3 images (same exposure values)
Merged into Panorama via Photoshop
Nik – Color Efex Pro 4 Dark Contrast (Awesome new filter!!!!!)
Nik – Color Efex Pro 4 GND filter
Nik – Define 2.0 Noise reduction
Sized for web

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  1. Very cool! I’ve been holding off on the Nik Suite, but may have to bit the bullet now!

  2. It’s an awesome shot Justin and thanks for including the video.

  3. I am trying really hard to resist spewing forth a bunch of National Lampoon quotes right now! Diggin this a lot!

  4. Love the image and video Justin. Nik does rock…

  5. Hey Justin, love this shot and your Nik work! Fantastic video and look forward to some of your CEP 4 brews!

  6. This image speaks to me. I absolutely love it and think its one of your best to date.

  7. This is such a great shot, dude. A seemingly minimal image with such power – love it.

  8. Very impressive Justin.


  1. Colorado Big says:

    […] So go out and have some fun making panoramas. Nothing to be scared of. I posted a video about this here. Also if you are interested in purchasing a 4′x12′ print of some Colorado mountains let […]

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