kellygesick

On the way to the Woods



In our last few days in Ukiah there was a light rain. I jumped in the car and drove around just trying to soak in the landscape before our move. I was complet...
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In our last few days in Ukiah there was a light rain. I jumped in the car and drove around just trying to soak in the landscape before our move. I was completely breathless by the beauty of this landscape.
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Behind The Lens

Location
This photo was taken outside of Ukiah, California on the road to Montgomery Woods.
Time
This is one of my all time favorite images. My family was getting ready to move from Ukiah, California to Reno, Nevada and I knew I wanted to make an image of the beauty in the Ukiah Valley and surround hills before we moved. I woke up 3 days before our move and saw scattered clouds in the sky I knew I had to drive out towards the hills around the valley something. It was about 9:30 am when I took this photo.
Lighting
I took this photo during an off and on rain storm. There was a bit of wind this day and the clouds were moving a lot. I waited until there was a break in the clouds that let a little bit more light through the the hill and the solitary tree.
Equipment
This image was taken with a Canon 7D and 50 mm 1.4 lens. I had a tripod that I was expecting to use, but with how quickly the look of the landscape was changing with the weather I didn't end up using it.
Inspiration
A few months before I took this image my family and I drove out to explore Montgomery Woods. I had been told that Montgomery woods felt like the enchanted forest so we made a point to go explore that spot. My husband was driving on the way out and I was watching the scenery. I saw this spot and the second I did I wanted to photograph it. My husband wanted to get an early start on our hike in Montgomery woods and wouldn't stop. But I knew I had to get back out here to take a photo. 3 days before we moved away from Ukiah I woke up to scattered rainstorms and the most lovely light in the Ukiah Valley. I knew this would probably be my last chance to go make this image. I loaded up my kids and drove to this spot, hoping I would remember exactly where it was. I did and when I pulled off and climbed onto on the cab of my truck to take the photo I had one of those feelings that this was exactly the image I had dreamed about in my head of this place.
Editing
Yes. The RAW image and the feeling I had when I took this image didn't match. The contrast and saturation had to be adjusted. Once I got the contrast and saturation where it needed to be I applied a graduated filter from the top down to darken the clouds in the sky.
In my camera bag
I carry my Canon 7D, 50 mm 1.4, 28 mm 1.8 and 85 mm 1.4, two 430EX flashes, pocket wizards and collapsable reflecter with me all the time.
Feedback
Be looking. This spot I had driven by at least 4 times before I knew the weather and lighting would be perfect to photograph it. Be spontaneous. Once you have a place in mind that you know you want to capture be ready and willing to go back at a moments notice when time of day or weather do things that make the landscape or environment come alive. Be patient. Don't expect to capture something exactly how you envisioned it in your head until you are ready and willing to wait for everything to fall into place you can't control and don't be afraid to adjust and direct the things you can control.

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