Steens Mountain

East Steens Road runs parallel to the northern extent of Steens Mountain in Southeast Oregon. This late winter, first-light-on-the-mountains image called out to me. The striking dark, sharp, rocky face of the mountain with bright snow caps and avalanche chutes; the delicate light brush in the foreground; the ominous dark skies—all contrasting with one another in more than one dimension—form, texture and tonality.

Technical Details

Composite: No
EF 16-35mm @ 35mm; f/11 @ 1/100 sec, ISO i00

1 Like

I can see why you were drawn into this landscape. It’s intriguing. The overall tones are soothing and full of interest.

Thank you, Ms. Smith. I spend a substantial amount of time driving in isolated, lightly-populated areas. I am in no hurry and always looking for attractive subjects. When I encounter one I spend some time determining the best way I can portray it in its environment—composition. Then I determine if the light is favorable and if not, when will it be and can I devote the time to revisit it when the light will be appropriate to make the image as compelling as I can. I don’t think I am unique in that approach.

A really nice image Bob. You for sure find a correct point in time when the light where favourable.

Thank you, Ola. One could say lucky or fortuitous, but I prefer to think Divine intervention.

very nice, Bob. the foreground brush makes the image IMO.

Thank you, J. Mark. I agree. Steens mountain is long and fronted mostly by desert. I searched for the most favorable foreground element I could find, Then it was just a matter of aligning all the elements into a coherent composition.

Really a fine composition, with restrained tonality. In addition to the contrasts you mentioned, I am attracted to the line from the left top of the sagebrush extending into the valley on the right, which then leads to the bright snow slope and back into the mountains. The gentle texture in the right side sky is tremendous, especially as it is reflected a bit in the frosty ground on the right side. Thanks for the background commentary in your reply to Kris.

Thank you Dick. I actually needed to tone down that line on the brush a bit as it was distracting, not inconspicuously guiding the viewer’s eye.