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Image ProcessingMount St. Helens from Windy Ridge, Before and After from Jpeg.

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Charles Haacker
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Mount St. Helens from Windy Ridge, Before and After from Jpeg.

Postby Charles Haacker » Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:15 pm

I posted a before-and-after landscape in landscape, but now I'm not sure if it shouldn't have gone here, in Digital Editing. Here's another pair, of Mount St. Helens from Windy Ridge, July 17, 2012, with a Nikon P7000 compact (1/1.7 sensor), from jpeg. In those exciting days of yesteryear, even though the P7000 and its subsequent iterations were all raw capable, I didn't make the move until 2015, so the original of this picture is a jpeg (booooooo). However, I always congratulated myself on having discovered that the Big Secret to Digital was never to overexpose the most important highlight, in this case, the clouds. In B&W analog we had a well-worn aphorism: expose for the shadow; develop for the highlight. This worked best with sheet films that could be processed individually. Basically, you overexposed to get detail in the deep shadow, then "pulled" development so as not to block the highlight. I had discovered (I alone discovered, no one else ever knew this until I blabbed :| ) that digital seemed to be the the opposite: expose for the highlight; "develop" for the shadow. Now, indeed, doing this, especially with small-sensor cameras and working in jpegs leads to noise in the shadow, but I've generally been willing to accept it to keep from blocking the highlight, and along the way I've gotten better at noise control. Now I shoot all raw anyway, but I still watch my histograms for a big spike on the right. I know about Expose To The Right and I appreciate the idea, but I still work with smaller sensor cameras that are not as amenable to ETTR. I'd rather a little noise than a blown cloud. :)

Windy Ridge is slightly northeast of the crater and was dead in the blast zone. Most people visit the other vantage, Johnston Ridge, to the NW, where young vulcanologist Dr. David A. Johnston was killed in 1980 when the mountain blew up in his face (Johnston radioed his famous last words: "Vancouver! Vancouver! This is it!"). Johnston Ridge has a much better view into the crater, but Windy Ridge has this view:
DSCN2118-2.BIG-3.jpg
This is the original, untouched jpeg, exposed for the sky and clouds. That leaves the rest of the picture looking pretty blah. Incidentally, I often insist that I am no "purist" about much of anything, but this picture (as is) is the sort of thing that makes me wonder about the Straight Out Of Camera folks. Sure, I could expose for the whole scene and make a "better" jpeg SOOC, but then I will blow out the clouds. Just sayin'.
DSCN2118-2.BIG.jpg
This (obviously) is my latest iteration, finished entirely in Lightroom, and with not a lot of fuss. I think what I basically did was pull the highlights down, the shadows up, set a solid white and black point, and that's pretty much it. I didn't even need my favorite tool, the graduated filter. I cropped some from bottom that I thought extraneous. Those are Indian paintbrush in the foreground by the way. My wife loved them.
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Re: Mount St. Helens from Windy Ridge, Before and After from Jpeg.

Postby LindaShorey » Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:30 pm

I couldn't find another topic, Chuck; did you delete it? Small world: I was at Windy Ridge almost exactly a year to the day after your visit! It was truly a life-changing experience, nearly incomprehensible to see the still existing damage 33 years after the blast, along with the healing. Love your photo!
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Re: Mount St. Helens from Windy Ridge, Before and After from Jpeg.

Postby Charles Haacker » Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:48 pm

LindaShorey wrote:I couldn't find another topic, Chuck; did you delete it? Small world: I was at Windy Ridge almost exactly a year to the day after your visit! It was truly a life-changing experience, nearly incomprehensible to see the still existing damage 33 years after the blast, along with the healing. Love your photo!

Hi, Linda. It was the Mount Hood shot from a moving car. That's also a before-and-after so maybe I put it in the wrong section since it's more about processing than landscape. I have a few more I'll probably release.

What a small world indeed! We were at Johnston Ridge in 2009, and here at Windy Ridge in 2012. Daphne was not thrilled with that road! I have always been a cautious driver and she knew I was being careful but high roads with no guardrails terrified her. We had Rose, our Tiny Tent Trailer with us, but Iooked up beforehand and saw that there is a ranger station about halfway (I think) and figured they would not mind if we dropped the trailer in their lot and then picked her up on the way back. I would NOT have wanted to do the rest of that road with the trailer on the hook! :S

The whole St. Helens experience is amazing from either vantage. I am so glad wiser heads prevailed to turn the blast area (at least) into a living laboratory. It is incredible that it has come back so far from what it was in the first couple of years, but we were surprised (and the rangers were as well) that the down timber in Spirit Lake is all still there, and all still afloat (at least as of 2012). That's the raft at right center.
DSCN2130-2.BIG-2.jpg
This is another I have a before-and-after of but it's worth it to skip the before. The rangers told us that soon after the blast some well-meaning but ill-advised fisherman (no one knows who or they'd prosecute) restocked the lake with Rainbow, I think it was, which are non-native in the first place. They lived on algae that came from the down trees. They so thoroughly lived on it that the lake became absolutely crystal clear, no debris or anything in the water. The fish became monstrous, then when they ran out of algae they turned on each other. As of 2012 things had stabilized I think, but the rangers are still pretty rankled about whoever did that.
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Re: Mount St. Helens from Windy Ridge, Before and After from Jpeg.

Postby St3v3M » Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:05 pm

Charles Haacker wrote:...
Windy Ridge is slightly northeast of the crater and was dead in the blast zone. Most people visit the other vantage, Johnston Ridge, to the NW, where young vulcanologist Dr. David A. Johnston was killed in 1980 when the mountain blew up in his face (Johnston radioed his famous last words: "Vancouver! Vancouver! This is it!"). Johnston Ridge has a much better view into the crater, but Windy Ridge has this view:

The circle of life can be a wonderous thing, and nature has her own version of beauty but I imagine this to an inspiring view standing there.

I've yet to visit and appreciate you taking us along with you! S-
"Take photographs, leave footprints, steal hearts"

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Re: Mount St. Helens from Windy Ridge, Before and After from Jpeg.

Postby St3v3M » Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:08 pm

Charles Haacker wrote:...
This is another I have a before-and-after of but it's worth it to skip the before. The rangers told us that soon after the blast some well-meaning but ill-advised fisherman (no one knows who or they'd prosecute) restocked the lake with Rainbow, I think it was, which are non-native in the first place. They lived on algae that came from the down trees. They so thoroughly lived on it that the lake became absolutely crystal clear, no debris or anything in the water. The fish became monstrous, then when they ran out of algae they turned on each other. As of 2012 things had stabilized I think, but the rangers are still pretty rankled about whoever did that.

What an amazing view, and such a beautiful sight after a total disaster. It's amazing how nature finds her way.

I love the fish story and the word rankled too! Thank you again for bringing us with you! S-
"Take photographs, leave footprints, steal hearts"

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Charles Haacker
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Re: Mount St. Helens from Windy Ridge, Before and After from Jpeg.

Postby Charles Haacker » Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:34 pm

St3v3M wrote:
Charles Haacker wrote:...
Windy Ridge is slightly northeast of the crater and was dead in the blast zone. Most people visit the other vantage, Johnston Ridge, to the NW, where young vulcanologist Dr. David A. Johnston was killed in 1980 when the mountain blew up in his face (Johnston radioed his famous last words: "Vancouver! Vancouver! This is it!"). Johnston Ridge has a much better view into the crater, but Windy Ridge has this view:

The circle of life can be a wonderous thing, and nature has her own version of beauty but I imagine this to an inspiring view standing there.

I've yet to visit and appreciate you taking us along with you! S-

Thanks, Steve. If you get a chance, GO! Johnston Ridge is easier to get to and has a better view right into the muzzle of the thing. There's also a swell museum there. Windy Ridge is really pretty undeveloped and harder to get to, but it has the view of Spirit Lake. It also took the brunt of the blast.
DSCN3350-2.BIG.jpg
2009, from Johnston Ridge, right after a rainstorm. We were lucky to see the crater at all! But this shows how much recovery there had been just 29 years after this whole region was just gray ash.
Friends call me Chuck. :photo: This link takes you to my Flickr albums. Please click on any album to scroll through it.
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Re: Mount St. Helens from Windy Ridge, Before and After from Jpeg.

Postby St3v3M » Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:45 pm

Charles Haacker wrote:Thanks, Steve. If you get a chance, GO! Johnston Ridge is easier to get to and has a better view right into the muzzle of the thing. There's also a swell museum there. Windy Ridge is really pretty undeveloped and harder to get to, but it has the view of Spirit Lake. It also took the brunt of the blast.

Sheesh, where have you been hiding this? WOW! S-
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Re: Mount St. Helens from Windy Ridge, Before and After from Jpeg.

Postby LindaShorey » Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:59 pm

Charles Haacker wrote:Johnston Ridge is easier to get to and has a better view right into the muzzle of the thing.
WOWSA, this is an awesome shot! I've never been to that side, and guess I haven't seen pics from there since 1980 either. So glad you included.
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Re: Mount St. Helens from Windy Ridge, Before and After from Jpeg.

Postby Charles Haacker » Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:59 pm

St3v3M wrote:
Charles Haacker wrote:Thanks, Steve. If you get a chance, GO! Johnston Ridge is easier to get to and has a better view right into the muzzle of the thing. There's also a swell museum there. Windy Ridge is really pretty undeveloped and harder to get to, but it has the view of Spirit Lake. It also took the brunt of the blast.

Sheesh, where have you been hiding this? WOW! S-

LindaShorey wrote:
Charles Haacker wrote:Johnston Ridge is easier to get to and has a better view right into the muzzle of the thing.
WOWSA, this is an awesome shot! I've never been to that side, and guess I haven't seen pics from there since 1980 either. So glad you included.

Thank you both, Steve and Linda. That picture was a gift. When we arrived at the visitor center it was raining and the mountain was completely socked in. We looked at everything in the museum, the memorial to David Johnston, kept peeking outside to see if it had cleared but no such luck. They do a great presentation in the theater on a regular schedule which has really scary sound effects and, of course, every scrap of footage known. When the presentation is over the huge screen rises up, revealing enormous windows with a view of... But wait! It may be lifting! Everyone scrambles outside. The clouds lift juuuuuust enough, then the sun breaks through for, oh, 30 seconds, and that's it. Ya either got it or ya didn't. I think I did. :)
DSCN3353-2-Edit.EM.jpg
It was an especially happy time for all of us... Matt, our son and only child, had met the love of his life and would marry her in 2011. Daphne, his mom, the love of my life, was in peak form right up until 2016 while we traveled as far and as fast as we could. We all had whacked-out senses of humor and loved to goof around, like this. :D
Last edited by Charles Haacker on Thu Jun 29, 2017 4:23 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Friends call me Chuck. :photo: This link takes you to my Flickr albums. Please click on any album to scroll through it.
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Re: Mount St. Helens from Windy Ridge, Before and After from Jpeg.

Postby Psjunkie » Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:15 am

2009 after the rainstorm is exceptional Chuck, well done..


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