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Wild Iron Horse | by Surrealize
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Wild Iron Horse

I decided to take a little break from my trip to Asia and instead, post one from my recent trip across the state. This is the Wild Horse Monument in Central Washington just outside of the town of Vantage along the Columbia River Gorge. The art piece is actually titled "Grandfather Cuts Loose The Ponies" and was created by David Govedare who is actually from my home town of Chewelah, WA! As you begin to drive up the eastern slope of the canyon, you can see what appears to be a herd of horses high up on the cliff edge. Sadly, though I've lived in the state all my life, I had never actually taken the time to stop by and see the steel sculptures up close. As it was a surprisingly warm Spring day, I decided to make the hike. Wow am I glad I did as I was treated to this stunning view just a little before sunset. There was virtually no wind and everything was so very clear. There are actually several iron horses that make up this great monument and I had a tough time selecting which of my shots to post. Ultimately, I decided on this one because of the really interesting lens flare and the fact that you could see the river and bridge so clearly from the cliff edge.

 

About this shot, this is a combination of 9 bracketed exposures to capture all of the light information, especially as I was shooting directly into the sun. Then, some post processing in my digitial darkroom (MAC, 30" screen, PS CS4) to balance out the scene. I was really excited about how the lens flare turned out in this one and paid careful attention to retain the sun rays and color circles that really stood out against the dark silhouette of the horse. This particular vantage was a bit tricky to capture as I was literally on the edge of the cliff balancing on one foot and a tripod. I had on my ultra wide angle lens (14-24mm / f2.8) and was able to capture this sweeping view from only a few feet away. I did have a little scare and lost my footing while trying to adjust my position. Luckily, I was able to use my catlike reflexes to shift my weight back on to my tripod and thankfully averted disaster... phew! Good thing I had my cable release on my camera as my hands were shaking pretty bad for the next 30 mins :-) Oh, and a word to the wise, this is rattlesnake country to if you decide to make the trek up there.. be very careful!

 

Hope you all have a great week!

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Taken on March 5, 2010