<< Previous Next >>

Big Sky Country

Big Sky Country
Photo Information
Copyright: Niek Bouwen (SunToucher) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2385 W: 237 N: 3033] (11162)
Genre: Landscapes
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-06-15
Categories: Sky
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 DC EX HSM, B+W 77mm UV-Haze MRC
Exposure: f/18.0, 1/160 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Travelogue: Summer Vacation 2006: USA
Date Submitted: 2006-10-09 14:20
Viewed: 4318
Points: 27
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I realized that my previous photo was actually the last good landscape photo I made of my vacation. We were on our way to our last cabin at Rock Creek, but I didn't make any good landscape photos during those last four days.

So I decided to go through my stack of photos and see what was still TN worthy. This photo was actually made on the first day of our vacation in Montana. We went for a little drive south of Missoulla, along the Bitterroot River and stopped at the Lee Metcalf N.W.R. There I had my first Big Sky experience. In the far distance you can see the rain falling.

some info about the Lee Metcalf N.W.R.
Located along the meandering Bitterroot River and surrounded by majestic towering mountains, the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge offers spectacular viewing opportunities of the landscape and wildlife. The Refuge's location in the scenic and historic Bitterroot Valley of western Montana provides a haven for wildlife.

The Refuge was established in 1963 to provide habitat for migratory birds. The name of the Refuge honors the late U.S. Senator Lee Metcalf, who was a local high school graduate and had a lifelong commitment to conservation.

The mission of the Refuge is to manage habitat for a diversity of wildlife species with emphasis on migratory birds and endangered and threatened species, and to provide compatible human benefits associated with Refuge wildlife and wildlands.

Signal-Womb, mbasil, pablominto, jeanpaul, TheMystic, njmv79 has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

Hello Niek, I think the scene needs a little more drama IMO, maybe a ND grad filter would have made that sky more moody and more of it. You should look through your archive and see if any would be suitable for a little B&W treatment through the channel mixer, just an idea. Regards Steve.

I really dont know much about photography; so, I dont know how to agree and or disagree with Steve.
As far as I'm concerned, I think that this register is HIGHLY educative as far as your notes go; your frames are legendary. The colours & contrasts of the sky showing the "FALLING" rain has an almost 3D effect.
Excellent photo.

Hi Niek,

I understand what Stephen is saying. The photo lacks drama...but it does have that big sky! I haven't done much with my 10-20 lens but have done some reading on wide angle shots. I have the same lens and the focal distance is 9 inches. (What's that...about 15cm?) That is really close and the benefit of that is one can get a foreground object very sharp and dominant. That along with the fantastic depth of field, can make an image very powerful. I did a workshop with those two elements in mind. There was only the grass in the foreground so I tried to emphasize it with light and sharpness. Also using light I tried to emphasize the depth by making the clouds recede into the distance...all the way to your rain shower. This is something I am struggling to learn too.

Hi Niek,
Excellent wide angle view. The composition with the angled road is perfect. I like the openness and space of this shot. I dont mind that there's no real subject actually. I think the point of this shot is to emphasize the expanse of the open space. I like the darkness in the clouds above, giving a real sense that a storm is moving in. Well seen and captured!

Hello Niek,
It is a vast land indeed...
Good lines... Fine colours... Noce details!
Diagonal dirt road is an important element here!
Pablo -

Bonjour Niek
C'est une excellente prise de vue avec ce beau paysage et cette route de campagne ! belles couleurs, bon contraste entre le foncÚ et la pÔleur des montagnes. Merci pour le partage .
bravo et au revoir...JP

  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2006-10-10 14:50]

Hi Niek

I like this, I like the emptiness and space in the photo. I like the lane stretching diagonally past the front. The rain in the distance is also nice. I do think some of the pictures would look interesting in B&W



  • Great 
  • mbasil Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 335 W: 148 N: 745] (3320)
  • [2006-10-10 15:27]

It's funny, this ALMOST works for me, Niek. Yes, it is missing some drama. And then for good or bad, it breaks some rules -- there really isn't a subject (maybe the road), not much mg (the fence), and the bg is pretty nondescript. Yet it succeeds as a very realistic image, especially for those of us living on the priries here. Still, my eye keeps wandering back and forth on the road and the fence, waiting to spot something. So maybe this is a "Waiting for Godot" shot?

...could have been taken in my backyard. Actually, not all that far from me across the border. Great composition including the gravel road. This type of view is one of the main subjects of the Canadian Artist Takeo Tanabe. You captured the 'feel' for the big sky very well. Drama? There is a quiet, ancient strenght present in this land, that takes a bit of time to take hold.

  • Great 
  • edal Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 374 W: 48 N: 413] (1853)
  • [2006-10-11 1:04]

Hi Niek!
Obviously the weather is rainy as should be during fall. You have managed the cloudy diffuse light very well to give us a vivid idea of American country.

Hi Niek,
well everything you "shoot" is just great, you have the talent really and honestly, so I think by telling you that your PoV, DoF, is just great I mean it,
TFS my friend,

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2006-10-16 9:06]

Hi Niek,
great shot, I love the depth you achived in this shot. Great composition, very nice diagonal lines. Great scenery.

  • Great 
  • osse Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 955 W: 0 N: 89] (7805)
  • [2006-10-27 19:27]

Hi Niek
Great landscape shot. Good colours and DOF.
Well done


hello Niek! great shot! wonderful moment! fantastic compo! TFS

Calibration Check