850 feet above the Columbia River Gorge during the worst air advisory since Mt. Saint Helens erupted in 1980. Smoke from five concurrent forest fires covered the Portland area in smoke so thick it resembled Silent Hill.
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Here is a shot that is a bit experimental, but ultimately I think it’s successful! Positioning the lens of my camera literally less than an inch off the surface of the water allowed me to capture a unique view up the Oneonta Gorge, that may not quite make sense upon first glance. What you are seeing is a disturbance in the water flow over rocks just millimeters under the waters surface, causing the reflection to bend back, contradicting the natural shape of the canyon walls and creating a nice S curve in the process. There was a very small margin for movement, as any slight shift in the cameras position caused the reflection to change. Your first impression may be that it was warped this way, but I promise, no warping was done here! Trying to capture an image this close to the foreground caused all sorts of problems from an impossible focus stack(the FG is not completely in focus), to water on the lens which eventually fogged up the interior element, making getting a clean exposure almost impossible(massive glow/flare around the light). This was the best I could manage with the situation, and it’s not an ideal result(just not all that clean of an image), but I wanted to follow through with it because I think it’s a pretty dang interesting and unique composition. Possibly the most difficult blend I’ve ever put together consisting of multiple focus points, several shots for dynamic range, and select exposures for the best reflections. In the end I had a total of about 25 layers for JUST blending! Difficult undertaking. Here’s a screen shot of some of the layers if you want a BTS view!