The Making of "Bison Paddock Wildflowers"
How the winning photo of the "Flowers" contest was made
By lynnslenses in Photo Contests on Jun 25, 2021
I am beyond excited and honoured that my photo was chosen for the May 2021 “Flowers” monthly contest. All the entered photographs were outstanding and I thank everyone so much for your nominations, votes and support.
My interest in photography started with my Grandfather’s box Brownie. When I got my first real job after University, I bought a Pentax ME Super SLR camera. It served me well in my “week-end” photography pursuits for 30 years, before I decided to enter the digital world of photography.
Choosing to stay with the Pentax brand was a no-brainer for me. I bought my K20D in 2008 because it felt great with all the controls easy to reach, I could use the lenses I currently had, plus it was the only camera (at the time) with weather-sealing.
I now shoot with a Pentax K-3 and photography has become more than a hobby for me. Living in the southern Foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta, Canada, there is so much beauty and wonder to inspire me. I don’t really have a genre: I love to shoot whatever nature presents: landscapes, wildlife, close-ups, macro, night skies and I have even done a little work with portraits and street photography. I also love travel photography and am hopeful that I can enjoy that again soon.
THE STORY OF THE IMAGE
Waterton National Park, Alberta, Canada, is about 2 1/2 hours away and is full of stunning beauty. Every spring, wildflowers are abundant, with a Wildlife festival held in June. Unfortunately, in 2017, wildfires ravaged the area, destroying the Visitor’s Centre and threatening the townsite and the iconic Prince of Wales Hotel. The bison that were contained in a paddock outside of town were moved for their safety. In 2019, I had heard that the wildflowers were back, so I headed down for the day to check it out. I couldn’t believe the amazing views I came upon! The wildflowers were everywhere, and especially abundant in the Bison Paddock as the bison weren’t there to eat/trample them. I couldn’t get into the enclosure because the road was closed, so I wandered around the perimeter taking hundreds of photos.
This particular scene caught my eye with the daisies and the purple lupins leading to the road and into the mountains in the background. It was shot in manual mode, handheld, through the wire chainlink fence using my Pentax K3 and my SMC Pentax-DA* ED AL 16-50mm F2.8 lens set at 16mm, F11, 1/160 sec, 400 ISO.
Using Lightroom 6.0 for post-processing, I decreased the highlights and blue luminance to bring out the clouds, and increased the shadows and the whites to brighten the image. I decreased the green and blue saturation slightly to get it closer to the colours of the scene, increased the saturation of the red, orange, yellow and purple for more brightness in the flowers and added a little clarity and contrast. Finally I used Photoshop CS5 to clone some daisies and grasses to fill in the gap in the lower centre of the image.
Thanks again for this incredible honour.
lynnslenses (Lynn Rust)
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