Highlands

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The moors of Scotland were difficult to leave. We spent just three days in Scotland, and two of those days were sopping wet and overcast. We didn’t mind the weather – because it meant we could drive long distances and explore the countryside – and we did get one day of fantastic weather. I took this shoot near a little stream on the moor. The light kept breaking through between the clouds, and I captured this shot at a moment when the light wasn’t too dull or too harsh. I could have stayed out there for months.

I blended three exposures for this shot – it was a difficult blend. It was a windy day, so the branches of the tree and the grasses were moving constantly. Blending three shots meant dealing with “ghosting” wherever something was moving in the photo. I had to be very careful about masking and blending. I used a single exposure for the grassy foreground, and a second exposure for tree and the left side of the photo. I used a third exposure for the upper right corner of the image, where the sky was brightest. I was careful about feathering my selections as I created masks for each layer, and I was constantly zooming in and out to make sure I wasn’t getting any of the ghosting effect I wanted to avoid. I was careful to place the “seams” in the sky, rather than too near the tree or the grass.

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