Mt. Hood rises from the Hood River valley, filled with April blossoms.

Mt. Hood rises from the Hood River valley, filled with April blossoms.

Last weekend seemed like the peak date for blossoms in the Hood River area. I worked my mandatory overtime on Saturday, so that left Sunday to explore. Arno lives there and knows the area, so he was able to take us criss-crossing the valley, from the Columbia River all the way south to Parkdale and back.

I was relieved that it had stopped raining for the day, but disappointed in the hazy, moisture-laden skies. They washed out the typically spectacular vistas in that area. In particular, the snow-capped peaks of Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood faded into the white sky, and robbed me of one of my favourite aspects of photography around here: the startling contrast of a white peak rising above the green, on a blue background.

Taking a cue from blogger LB, who consistently changes her readers’ perspective when she displays black & white photos instead of colour, I tried to change my own perspective. It had a great effect, I think. The vivid colours of the fruit trees and green grass made the volcanoes fade away into obscurity. Greyscale moderates the bright colours and gives the mountain a chance to make an impact in the photo. It would still be better without the hazy skies, but I’m excited about playing with black & white for a change.

What makes the orchards here especially picturesque is the hilly terrain that rises to mountains on the horizon. My eye delights in all the uneven shapes and depths.

What makes the orchards here especially picturesque is the hilly terrain that rises to mountains on the horizon. My eye delights in all the uneven shapes and depths.

I stopped here because the top-lit trees simply glowed in the sun. But that makes for some striking darks and brights when converted to black & white.

I stopped here because the top-lit trees simply glowed in the sun. But that makes for some striking darks and brights when converted to black & white.

The result of me playing with the "time machine" feature of Paint Shop Pro.

The result of me playing with the “time machine” feature of Paint Shop Pro.

The original version. These heaters in the fruit fields are eye-catching. The red rust is irresistible in the colour photos. Hard to convert it to sepia. :-)

The original version. These heaters in the fruit fields are eye-catching. The red rust is irresistible in the colour photos. Hard to convert it to sepia. :-)

Heaters in an orchard.

Heaters in an orchard.

The last photo gives a better sense of what it looks like to see heaters in the orchards. It also gives you a preview of my next post: Hood River blossoms in full colour! When all my images from the day are bursting with brilliant spring greens, and pink flowers, and white snow, and red rust, and copper barns, and black highways…it was hard for me to be brave and post these grey photos today. But I’ll make up for it in the next post.

 

 

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