Monochrome Memories

Basalt Garden Monochrome

Do you dream in color or shades of brown? How do you remember places you’ve visited? Did you grow up with black & white TV and add color in your mind?

Here in western Washington, the monochromatic season is upon us. The contrast is much more dramatic than the seasonal changes in eastern Washington where this photo was made last June. On the dry side of the Cascades the green season is very short, only a month or two, and the brown season lasts the rest of the year. I’ve accentuated it a bit in this image.

While I don’t want to live on the dry side of the mountains, I enjoy spending time over there. The diversity of plant life is greater than in our dense forests. As I understand it, that’s mostly due to the more challenging environment. In this desert environment plants are spread out farther from one another so their extensive root systems can pull up enough water.

The flower blooming here, seen in false color, is Columbia Cutleaf (Hymenopappus filifolius). It’s a composite that grows on the nearly pure sand found along the Columbia River.

The original photo is below.

Basalt Garden

Both versions were processed in Adobe Lightroom from an original shot with a Canon 1Ds Mk II and a 24-105mm lens at 28mm. I can’t remember for sure, but I think I was using a polarizing filter that day to increase the contrast in the sky and cut reflections on the foliage. The location is about a mile or two south of the Vantage I-90 bridge and is one of my favorite places along the river because of the high diversity of plants there in the spring.

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