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Photo of the week: November 9, 2012

Compass

Photo of the week: November 9, 2012

Gorgeous scenes abound in almost every direction you look — if you look closely enough.

Sometimes we luck out and happen upon beautiful scenery and light where it's tough to make a bad picture. On the other hand, there are other spots where it's all about the light, however fleeting;  yet once the magical light fades, the scene can turn flat and unappealing.  During that lucky moment when the light is ideal, a photographer must make lens decisions quickly.

Christine Haines' beautiful landscape "Palouse at Sunset" — this weeks Yahoo! Travel Picture of the Week—is a wonderfully striking landscape, one of the more visually exciting pictorials we've seen in a while. The vivid greens, the smooth flow of the hills, lit and backlit with low-angle light, are striking to the point that my initial response was simply one of awe. What a gorgeous scene!

At times a lovely scene like this can be enhanced by its  ambiguity.  At first glance one wonders:  Where is this?  Is this a golf course or is this some exotic Lost Horizon? Photographs that inspire questions indicate the image is very effective since, if there are questions, the viewer is looking twice —at least—a result which should be every photographer's goal.

To those who don't know Palouse, an exotic locale may come to mind—perhaps Italy—when in fact, Palouse is a lovely region of the Northwest U.S. in eastern Washington state, noted for it's scenic beauty, idyllic pastoral settings and vast farmlands.

Tip of the Week

If you like to photograph landscapes, a full compliment of lenses can be helpful or, at least, lenses ranging from wide angle to macro to telephoto.   At times the compression offered by a long lens — 200-600mm — creates a look that can't be matched with a wider lens and can selectively reach out to nail the actual picture within the scene you are viewing.  Your wide lenses have obvious value but always remember your macro lens.  On many occasions, the closer view afforded by a macro lens can create an equally interesting "landscape," even if abstract. 

Time of day is incredibly important when making such beautiful landscape images as this one.  Many professional travel photographers shoot landscapes only the first couple of hours after sunrise and during those fading hours of sunset and twilight.  Low-angle or even overcast light is often beautiful so, when possible, shoot early or late in the day.

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