SalaSnaps September 14, 2015
Spectacular!
Premium
 
laurenkaymyers September 14, 2015
This is absolutely stunning. Wonderful capture. Welcome to Viewbug!
PRO
 
wildorchidphotography September 14, 2015
Stunning! Love your work :)
 
SheilaDraper September 18, 2015
Absolutely Beautiful!! Superb capture :)
PRO
ryanbuchanan September 18, 2015
Thank you Sheila!
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GaryBridger September 18, 2015
wonderful lanscape . Although played with I think. the Depth is fantastic. Unlike the photos on here, To many have become repetitive, The same cliche i am so tired of viewing, This I could have on my wall.
PRO
ryanbuchanan September 18, 2015
Thanks Gary. If by "played with" you mean a lot of post processing time using luminosity masks, Orton effects, tonal and color balancing, you are correct.
PRO
 
Onthewildsidephotography September 28, 2015
Beautiful capture! Kudos!
PRO
 
CaptureLife77 October 01, 2015
WOWZA! This is stuunin' !!!
I too, LOOVE your work, my friend !!! ❤ :):)
superb spot for a photonic!!
 
amrutpatil October 01, 2015
beautiful!!!
PRO
 
nina050 October 01, 2015
Wow....your work is worth a thousand words...except I'm speechless! Would love to watch you as you do your post processing to learn a few tricks!
Every one of your photographs is a masterpiece...your talent is apparent in all of them...
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ryanbuchanan October 17, 2015
Thanks so much Nina!
Premium
 
thunderlake October 17, 2015
Breathtaking - congratulations on your award - well deserved.
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Take2Foto October 17, 2015
Truly awesome!!
PRO
 
tinawiley October 17, 2015
I was just there recently and took a few shots of the same lake. After seeing your photographs, I am hiding mine away! lol This is magnificent.
PRO
ryanbuchanan October 18, 2015
Ha, thanks! It is an incredible place that's for sure!
 
Travis83001 October 17, 2015
fantastic shot
PRO
 
Mystical12 October 18, 2015
Superb work absolutely beautiful! Congratulations.
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ryanbuchanan October 19, 2015
Thank you!
PRO
 
JohnWaldronImages October 23, 2015
Absolutely stunning composition! It's very difficult to compose such large subjects in an interesting pattern, and you did an amazing job!
PRO
ryanbuchanan October 23, 2015
Thanks John! This was about 7 shots at different focus points blended together for sharpness throughout-however it doesn't look too sharp on here for some reason.
 
ElenAndreeva October 25, 2015
Very beautiful work!!
 
RhodeLabbe November 19, 2015
SO BEAUTIFUL!!!!
 
sanaelgamal November 19, 2015
Simply fascinating! I wonder how you take such pictures...
PRO
ryanbuchanan November 19, 2015
Thanks! You can find out when I release my processing video by the end of the year!
 
angiemoraarnold November 22, 2015
Thank you for entering Montana Photo Challenge. Congratulations on Peoples Choice. Beautiful Photo!
PRO
ryanbuchanan November 22, 2015
Thank you Angie!
PRO
 
Bob5253 November 22, 2015
Great photo. Very, very nice!!!
Premium
 
vlcak November 22, 2015
congratulations for winning peoples choice! very lovely picture.
PRO
ryanbuchanan November 22, 2015
Thank you!
PRO
 
pegleg December 01, 2015
top shot sir, i hope one day i can photo like this nice one sir
PRO
 
Kathy_Banich December 28, 2015
Congratulations Ryan - this is a beautiful image - well worth every award it gets :-)
PRO
ryanbuchanan January 04, 2016
Thank you Kathy!
 
darrellgillenwater December 28, 2015
Beautiful shot
 
terryacregan-leidigh January 01, 2016
Wow, Nature @ it's Best! Fabulous!
PRO
ryanbuchanan January 04, 2016
Thank you!
 
AndreTroyer January 02, 2016
Love it! Stunning!
PRO
 
RyanWunsch January 12, 2016
Congrats Ryan!
 
andrevondeling January 22, 2016
WOW!
PRO
 
NoelleMirabella January 25, 2016
This is incredible, as is all of your work. Do you offer any mentoring or classes? I would love to learn from you.
PRO
ryanbuchanan January 25, 2016
Thanks Noelle, I currently do not do any workshops but am working on my first processing videos to show all my tips and methods, taking you from RAW image to final work. I will let you know when it is complete. Thanks for your interest.
 
AliAlzuhair January 27, 2016
Beautiful!
 
ikedittmann January 28, 2016
Fantastic photo great work
 
jodycarter_5014 February 04, 2016
Your work is Breath taking
PRO
ryanbuchanan February 06, 2016
Thank you Jody!
 
noexcuseg February 06, 2016
Beautiful shot
 
michelebendigwyman February 10, 2016
That is a beautiful picture.
PRO
 
JetSetBrunettePhotography March 03, 2016
This is absolutely amazing and spectacular, WOW! Heaven on Earth!
PRO
 
racheljonesross March 12, 2016
This is gorgeous! I'm looking forward to the release of your processing videos. Your work is so inspiring!
PRO
 
Pamelabole April 12, 2016
Gorgeous shot!!!! And congrats on your award!!! : )
Premium
 
julielubick April 19, 2016
Amazing!
 
Witmar May 25, 2016
wonderfull lanscape
PRO
 
lindiekolver May 26, 2016
This is just an amazing shot. Without any doubt has the WOW-factor in abundance ! Congratulations !
PRO
 
gatorbait38 May 26, 2016
Congratulations on the award! Well deserved. That is a classic to be proud of. Absolutely beautiful!!!!!!!
PRO
ryanbuchanan June 01, 2016
Thanks so much!
PRO
 
kathyallison May 28, 2016
Congrats!! So beautiful:)
PRO
 
Carlos_Santero June 01, 2016
Hey Ryan, I thought to myself this style I know.... yes from your 500px account! Congrats dude!!!!!!
PRO
ryanbuchanan June 01, 2016
Ha, thanks Carlos! Appreciate that!
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dianegrenier June 01, 2016
fantastic
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dianegrenier June 01, 2016
fantastic
PRO
 
NarrowGatePhotography June 19, 2016
I love the depth of this shot. I feel as though I could take a step and be right there. The sharp foreground and sharpness throughout is just perfect. Love it!
PRO
 
adavies September 02, 2016
Congratulations on being the Grand Winner of my Peaks and Valleys challenge! Awesome image...and it's done you proud again! Congrats! :)
 
Vanismile September 04, 2016
Amazing view..
 
IanGaston December 04, 2016
Hey dude! Great to see your wonderful work here as well! Congrats on all the dang awards...well deserved
 
ShurikShurik Mar 07
jaw-dropped :)
 
dtcheung Apr 18
Love this sunset shot of Hidden Lake at Glacier National Park. It must be pretty dark by the time you came back down to the parking lot, or you were camping overnight. Need to plan for this next time I am up there provided that the weather will be cooperating....
Premium
 
SarahKeates Apr 19
Stunning! Congrats!
 
Amdehay Apr 20
Absolutely STUNNING!!!

More from ryanbuchanan

53
comments
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Sep, 2015
uploaded

Hidden Lake



It was a long week out in Glacier National Park, dodging fires, escaping the smoke and hunting for clouds—tough even finding flowing water and flowers. With apparently just 15% of snowfall this past winter, drought conditions were in full effect—flowers were long gone for the most part and creek beds were nearly dry. This evening though, we were able to get out from most of the smokey haze and catch some nice, interesting light up at Logan Pass. This is Hidden Lake at the foot of Bearhat Mountain. The search for foreground life led me to this spot where I was able to get a slight sideview angle on the mountain and some greater depth out to the horizon. Blended around 6 shots to get sharpness throughout. With Going to the Sun road closed I was worried we weren’t going to be able to make it up here. Was incredible to finally see it—a photographer’s dream.

Submitted to Photo Contests

Awards

Won Contest Finalist in Mountain Shapes Photo ContestApril, 2017
Won Contest Finalist in Our National Parks Photo ContestApril, 2017
Winner in Peaks and Valleys Photo ChallengeSeptember, 2016
Won FUJIFILM XF 100-400mm LensMay, 2016
Won FeaturedMay, 2016
Won Contest Finalist in World Expeditions Photo ContestMay, 2016
Won Runner Up in Alluring Landscapes Photo ContestApril, 2016
Won Contest Finalist in From Afar: Landscapes Photo ContestFebruary, 2016
Winner in Mountain Passion Photo ChallengeFebruary, 2016
Won Contest Finalist in Alluring Landscapes Photo ContestJanuary, 2016
Won Contest Finalist in Image of the Year Photo Contest by SnapfishDecember, 2015
Won People's Choice in Montana Photo ChallengeNovember, 2015
Winner in The beauty of National Parks! Photo ChallengeOctober, 2015

Likes

Peer Award

Absolute Masterpiece
Peer Award
Superb Composition
Top Choice
Outstanding Creativity
All Star
Magnificent Capture
Superior Skill
Love it
+18
Genius

Photo Trifecta TM

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Behind The Lens

Location
The photo was taken at Logan Pass in Glacier National Park—the highest point on the Going-to-the-Sun-Road. After a nice hike, you reach Hidden Lake and Bearhat Mountain. I found a viewpoint that gave me more of an angled view of the mountain, to catch more side light and add more depth to the scene. I took this shot laying down, with my camera inches off the ground and my lens nearly touching the small flowers in the foreground.
Time
I hiked up to this point in the late afternoon and was shocked by the beauty of this place. Incredibly peaceful—perfect temperature, almost no wind. I found my composition and got everything set in place. For the background mountain scene, this was taken just as the last light was kissing those mountain tops. However, due to the low light conditions, and the depth of field of the entire scene, I had to "focus stack" the foreground images around 20 minutes prior to sunset. This allowed me to use the greater amount of light (along with a smaller f-stop, or larger aperture, used when focus stacking) for a faster shutter speed to freeze the movement of the flowers. See below for more details on this.
Lighting
This was a tough week of shooting due to all of the forest fires raging in the area. Most of the locations were choked out by a smokey haze which killed most of the interesting light. Luckily, up at Logan Pass, we were high enough and out of the direction of the wind as to get mostly clear skies. The subtle haze in this image actually helped enhance the colorful glow at this time. Shooting in low lighting conditions can be difficult due to the long exposure needed and the movement of the flowers. It was important for me to capture the foreground elements about 20 minutes prior to sunset when there was a bit more light, allowing for a shorter exposure time. Upping the ISO and opening the aperture allowed me to get the foreground shots at around 1/40 of a second. Then when the lighting was exactly how I wanted it on the mountains, I captured that and blended in post.
Equipment
This was shot on a Nikon D800e, with a 14-24mm Nikkor lens with a Wonderpana polarizer, on a Manfrotto CX PRO 4 tripod.
Inspiration
Heading to Glacier National Park I knew I wanted to capture a unique mountain scene at peak flower bloom. Having seen many other photographers' masterpieces, I knew what I was striving for. Typically this is the best time of year for this, but this August, after a very low snowpack the previous winter, the rivers were running dry and the flowers were very sparse. So upon reaching this location, I was thrilled to find a healthy patch and the right light hitting those mountains.
Editing
For me, the real transformation and sometimes the more labor intensive part begins in post. It is my favorite part though because it is where the artistic process begins. One thing I love about photography is the creative freedom and how differently people can interpret the same scene. Three people shooting at the same location can come up with three completely unique results, not only compositionally, but based on their own artistic vision. Capturing the RAW data is one thing, but the ability in post to "paint with light" and create various moods and emotions resulting in a unique work of art is what I love. I have ever-evolving methods for processing my images, from how I handle the RAW image in Lightroom, to the steps I take in Photoshop to balance the tones, lighting and color—even down to sharpening for web viewing. I use luminosity masks to make specific lighting adjustments (which I highly recommend), Orton lighting effects and even some photoshop plugins. Once I have an image where I like it, I try to set an image aside for a few days and come back to it for fresh take. Many times I find myself asking “what was I thinking here?” Doing this really helps me fine tune the image.
In my camera bag
- Camera Body (Nikon D800e) - 14-24mm lens - 24-70mm lens - 70-200mm lens - Remote trigger - Lee Filters / Wonderpana filters - Batteries / Memory cards - Microfiber towel - Kimtech Kimwipes are used in science labs and great for cleaning lenses—especially water spray.
Feedback
I love creating depth of field in my images. I try to make the foreground elements fill the frame and appear larger to catch the viewer’s eye and move them into the scene. The challenge with this is capturing everything sharply throughout—especially with moving foreground elements and low-light conditions. With this image my lens was just a couple of inches from those first flowers. There is no way I could focus on those flowers while also having the rest of the scene in focus. I knew I had to do a “focus-stack” because the depth of field was so great. In all, it took around 7 shots to piece this one together. First, I set up my composition and got my settings straight with my lens switched to manual mode and my tripod inches off the ground. I started by focusing on the flowers closest to me and capturing that shot with as fast a shutter speed as I could to freeze any movement. Without moving or changing a thing, I manually turn only the focus ring a small increment at a time to move my focus out just a touch and capture the shot at each point until the focus is at infinity. When practicing this, you will notice the focus changes very quickly with close up foreground elements, so I try to make small increments each the same amount. Since you are capturing each focused section at a time, you don’t need to use an f-stop of 18 or 20 which can lead to some diffraction. And in lower light conditions you want to let more light in with a larger aperture for a shorter exposure—especially when shooting things like flowers which can be constantly moving. You can use something more in the lenses ‘sweet spot’, anywhere from f/7.1 - f/11. If you have more patience than I do, you can also focus stack using your camera’s “Live View” mode and zooming in on different sections in your scene to be sure you are capturing every section in focus. You may also want to bracket or adjust your exposure settings on the final image to adjust for a brighter sky or sun. In post is where the magic happens. From Lightroom I export each of my 7 images with different focal settings to photoshop using the command “Open as layers in Photoshop”. This does just that and stacks my 7 images as 7 layers into one file in Photoshop. Next, I auto-align the layers by selecting them all and then go to Edit > Auto Align Layers. Next, I select all the layers again and go to Edit > Auto-Blend Layers and choose Stack Images in the popup window. This will take all the focused parts of each image and blend them into one image. Photoshop blends these layers, adding masks to various areas of each layer to let the focused part of each image show through. I then check photoshop’s work by zooming in and correcting any errors by adjusting the masks. This happens around certain edges and when wrong focal points selected by photoshop—especially when dealing with slightly moving subjects. This whole process can be quite involved but photoshop usually does a good job. Once I have my fully focused base image, I continue on with my usual processing methods.

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