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Washington Palouse

Canon 5D Mark II with 17-40mm f/4L @ f/11, 1/80th, ISO 100

For this photo I began by finding my angle. I wanted to shoot the barn from the side to show both the front and side and also give it depth. At first I had my tripod at eye level which made the hill intersect the roof of the barn, I didn't like this so I dropped to about waist level which fixed that problem and gave the barn separation from the background.

The next step was finding my exposure. I used my meter to get a good reading then I underexposed this by 1/3rd of a stop to enhance the saturation of the colors and make the shadows darker. The sky was quite a bit brighter than the foreground since the barn was in shadow so I used a two stop GND Cokin P filter and held it at an angle in front of the lens to darken the sky and match it with the barn. The grass also helped to kick some light back up into the barn from the sun. Filters are a great way to balance exposures with any camera, even a phone. They are also very inexpensive.

This effect could have also been achieved in post processing using a digital filter but I feel it's better to get it right in camera, it also gives it a more natural feel. Another option would be to use HDR and blend the exposures, but I don't like the look HDR gives.

Finally, to take the photo I used a remote shutter release to ensure no camera shake was introduced during the exposure from pushing the shutter button.

In post processing I increased the colors slightly and added some micro contrast to give the barn more detail. I also removed a power pole and power line that was distracting to keep the attention on the barn.

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